I should like to mention, in addition to Glowing Fish's wonderful description, that the concept of the 48 Hour Movie had been a sort of running joke/myth
amongst the Gracie's
core group for approximately a year. It grew out of earlier similar events, 2 of which resulted in zine
s produced in 24 hours, and another, Comfusion
, in a comic book (still to be assembled) drawn in 24 hours. After the first couple of these, the idea of making a movie started being batted around, but no one thought it could be done in 24 hours, so the time was doubled. Still, I think a lot of people were just using this as a humorous way to chat about funny plot ideas - "hey, wouldn't it be great/funny/cool/crazy if blah blah blah - hey, that could be in the 48 hour movie!!" - and most doubted that it would ever really happen.
Indeed, many dreams and myths spiral around the strange entity of Gracie's with only a small proportion of them seeing the light of reality. That's the way the Gracie's folk like it, mostly. But some of us took it upon ourselves to make this one actually happen. And I'm super pleased with the results.
To me, Gracie's in general has been a wonderful laboratory for a sort of temporary anarchy zone, where amazing chaotic emergent behavior often has occurred. The idea of applying this spirit to cinema production was really really intriguing to me, since in a way, filmmaking, at least the way it's traditionally been done, is the most hierarchic, authoritarian form of culture-making that there is. The question of whether an anarchic filmmaking was possible burned away in my brain for weeks...
Now, after it's over, I'm still catching up on sleep and trying to think through if the results of this experiment were at all conclusive. They certainly were encouraging, and it was truly beautiful just how much cooperation and decentralized activity happened.... but, I will have to ponder this more. As one of the handful of people who assembled the many bits into a final, semi-coherent product at the end, it's hard for me to gauge. Perhaps a survey is in order, to see how everyone feels. did anyone feel ordered around, or cheated, or slighted or the like? Were there "class divisions" forming?
Other experiments may also be in order, if not to gather more data, then to just have more fun. because it WAS really really fun, I think. We also plan to document the whole process, perhaps with a zine and a cdrom that contains outtakes, "bloopers" and "making of" clips.