It was an exciting evening for Sarasota film team This Oyster when their short-film Red took home the award for Best Directing at this year’s 48 Hour Film Project. And since we have an in with Evan Sigmund, co-director and SRQ Backlot senior photographer, we got the scoop on the filmmaking process and permission to share the film with our readers.
Tampa’s participation in the annual 48 Hour Film Project has come and gone, with the awards ceremony this past Thursday night, and This Oyster, left its mark, winning both the Best Directing award and an honorable mention for Best Film.
Begun in 2001, the conceit of the 48 Hour Film Project is simple: teams register and are given some basic guidelines, such as genre, a character that must be included, a line of dialogue that needs to find its way into the script and a prop that must make an appearance. These necessary inclusions remain hidden, to keep any group from taking a head-start, until the beginning of the contest, at which point teams have only 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and score their film before turning it over for judgment.
It can be a grueling and exhausting process, but This Oyster pulled it off with seemingly no problem.
“It was actually surprisingly calm and composed, given most of the cast and crew were not people who do film for a living, just a bunch of friends,” Sigmund, co-director, co-editor and director of photography for Team Oyster. “It didn’t feel like work until about 3 a.m. at the editing board after the second cup of coffee.”
Given the Film Noir genre, Team Oyster opted for a Chandler-esque retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood, swapping out the innocent protagonist for a moll named Red and turning the wolf into a lupine femme fatale, both trailed by a gruff-voiced character calling himself The Huntsman.
“It was crazy,” said co-director, co-editor and producer Ricky Perrone, vice president of Perrone Construction and Nautilus Homes, of the long hours, shooting Friday night until 4am, before getting up the next morning to shoot till 11pm and edit until 5am, with more work left for Sunday, including driving the film to Tampa. “It was a pretty tight time frame, without a whole lot of time to rest between editing and shooting.”
The film, called Red, garnered nominations in 9 out of 13 categories, including Best Film, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Actress (for Lindsay Adams’ portrayal of Red), Best Costumes and Best Use of Local Landmark (the Palm Avenue Parking Garage), ultimately winning for Best Directing.
“It felt great,” said Perrone. “I’d taken part last year and not been nominated for anything, so it was a big change. But we were confident in the movie we made and it came out really great.”
“It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy,” said Sigmund of the recognition, especially among competition that he felt was more than worthy. “The stories were really tight, the production looks super-professional, so to be lumped into the circle with those films—I’m honored.”
The award-winning film Red, co-directed by Perrone and Sigmund, and starring Lindsay Adams, Kari Bunker, Brian Lee Bonfonti and Sully Shipldiplson, can also be viewed on YouTube.