Over the last several years I've participated in a good number of 48 Hour Film competitions, usually with team Playomatic (and my frequent collaborator Steve Stuart) here in Boston (and in Providence, RI) and while we've won our share of awards, we've never won the the Big Kahuna--the "Best of Boston" designation awarded by the panel of film critic judges to the overall top film...Until now!
Our short mockumentary, "Thumbosis," was declared "Best of Boston" following the 48 Go Green Premier Screening on February 24th, 2011 at Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA.
A mockumentary with the assigned theme of "Save the Next Generation."
Required character: Morgana Johnson, Ph.D.
Assigned prop: keychain.
Required line of dialogue: "When does she arrive?"
The Heartbreak of Thumbosis
Taking a cue from Nature Deficit Disorder, a somewhat real, if controversial behavioral disorder postulated by Richard Louv in his 2005 book, "Last Child in the Woods:"
The young are the most vulnerable.
Our film spins a mockumentary around our own made-up disorder, Thumbosis Extremis.
Thumbosis Extremis is what happens to young people who, perhaps already debilitated by NDD, overindulge in typing, texting and endless video game playing, rendering the digits of their fingers nearly useless from overuse.
We trot out our expert (and required character) Morgana Johnson, Ph.D. to explain and illuminate the condition, as well as present treatment options, some more effective than others.
As with all our past films, I was cinematographer (as well as co-producer, co-writer and Box-O'-Joe schlepper) for Thumbosis. Filmed entirely on Cape Cod, I'm pretty proud of what we accomplished in only 48 hours with a tiny crew, from concept to finished film.
Is there hope on the horizon for Thumbosis sufferers?
Thumbosis was shot entirely with a Panasonic HVX200, usually utilizing a Brevis 35mm adapter and a selection of SLR lenses. My 24mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and 105mm 2.8 Nikon primes were the most useful on this shoot and account for 90% of all shots.
Only the "nature" shots were done without the Brevis and I took advantage of the 60fps capabilities of the HVX (which, on a 24fps timeline, makes for some very pleasant slow-mo) and it's excellent standard 13x Leica lens. The HVX has been around a good five years, but it's still a highly competent workhorse capable of very cinematic HD video.
Compared to the HDSLR's all the rage today, this baby still rocks on a professional level, particularly with the form factor and high quality audio acquisition (balanced XLR's and phantom power, etc.).
Panasonic's own AF100 and Sony's F3 are starting to merge the best of both worlds; the gorgeous depth of field and interchangeable lenses of the DSLRs along with the high quality audio/video connections and rock solid build and workflow that professionals crave. I'm looking forward to maybe retiring the Brevis adapter with my next camera.
Devastated about the RED Scarlet. Pondering her next HD camera purchase. Should she go 4K?
The 2011 48 Go Green Film Competition is an offshoot of the 48 Hour Film Project. As "Best of Boston" winner, Thumbosis went on to compete against other winning films from around the globe and was a Top 16 Finalist.
As one of the Top 16, "Thumbosis" also screens today, April 13th, 2011, at NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters Show) in Las Vegas as part of the "Best of the 48 Go Green" session.
A Thumbosis slideshow:
I'd love to be at NAB this year, but I can't fly for a while due to recent surgery on a ruptured achilles tendon (Ugh!). Ironically, fear of deep vein thrombosis prevents me from seeing "Thumbosis." You can't make this stuff up...
All stills are frames from Thumbosis. Cinematography by Brad Kelly. ©2011