Now This Is a Holiday I Think I Can Observe

According to the United Nations anyway, today is “World Television Day.” I think the only appropriate thing to do is plop myself down on the couch and stay there until midnight. Although I can’t help wondering if it’s strictly a coincidence that the date happens to fall during fall sweeps...

Speaking of sweeps, I watched ER last night, and I think my sentiments can be summed up in one word: “NOOOOOOO!” Okay, we all hated “Rocket” Romano, but that was the point. Paul McCrane was brilliant — I can’t remember anybody inspiring so much abject hatred, particularly while remaining a fully realized, three-dimensional character. Casting him in the first place was a fortuitous happenstance, but bringing him back to the show as a recurring character was a stroke of genius. Okay, so as audience members, we want to see him get it in the end. The problem is this isn’t the end. The show ain’t over. And what I lament is that they’ve removed the greatest source of conflict the show had. I suppose I worry that ER’s going to become some watered down, conflict-free drama like Enterprise, where everyone agrees with each other and gets along beautifully. Well, I suppose we’ll just have to see what happens.

The 48-Hour Film ProjectOf course, this disappointment is coming on the heels of my realization that I screwed up royally. I’ve been going on at length (in the real world, anyway) about participating in next spring’s 48-Hour Film Project. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, production teams are given one weekend to produce a short film, starting from a randomly drawn genre — say, “film noir,” “romantic comedy,” “musical,” and so forth — unique to each team, and with a mandatory character, prop, and line of dialogue, drawn also at random but applying to the entire competition. All creative work — writing, rehearsals, casting, shooting, editing — must be completed within that 48-hour window, and the completed films are shown at a screening at Visions Cinema the following Monday evening. The competition doesn’t take place just here in Washington (though it originated here), but in cities around the country. “Best of” shorts go on to compete nationally.

I’ve been spending my off time working out a lot of the details to make this happen, from assembling a team to arranging for equipment. But one thing we realized was that it’d be a great idea to do a “practice run,” a test to iron out the kinks before the real thing. Of course, not having a real deadline makes it a little less exciting, less urgent, but at least it’d be something. Well, in my lack of attention (well, more like my emphasis on my real life), I never noticed that there was a fall event! Aparently, they’ve got an affiliate competition, the National Film Challenge. Imagine the exact same competition but on a nationwide scale. Everybody does it simultaneously; instead of hand-delivering your finished tape, you FedEx it to the national competition site. You don’t have the local screenings, but you’re still competing.

And it happened the weekend of October 17th through the 20th. We missed it. All because I couldn’t be bothered to keep on top of things.

I am so not happy right now.


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