• Johnnie Brannon

My first short film | 2010 48 Hour Film Project Little Rock: RAAAAWWWWRRR!!!! | Repost

Updated: Mar 8

I got a call from Matt Owen on a Friday night. Matt and I met while I was attending church in Little Rock and immediately hit it off through our love of film and music. Up this point, I had done quite a bit of theater in Little Rock.

Matt asked me if I wanted to act in his 48 Hour Film that he was making the next day. I had already heard of the 48 Hour Film Project a few years before this. I remember seeing something in the local paper about it and had even reached out to someone about scoring their film but it didn't work out.

I had asked Matt about what I needed to wear. He told me and so the next day, I went to Walmart and bought my outfit, went home and changed and headed straight to set.

We filmed in the River Market in Downtown Little Rock. As I was driving, I noticed another film crew shooting something and I was thinking that was probably another 48 Hour team making a film. I would find out later it would be local filmmaker Gerry Bruno who had won Best Picture the previous year with his film, Fortunate. A part of that film would eventually be added to the promo video for the 48 Hour Film Project that would play before screenings for several years.

I got to location and I meet the crew. The girl who I was dating at the time, her younger brother was there as part of the cast. Another actor, who I actually saw in a play the night before was there. Michael Klutcher, a teacher in the theater dept in North Little Rock was performing as Rooster in the play, Annie at Murray's Dinner Playhouse in Little Rock. Another actress would round us out to 4.

We shot all day that Saturday. The film was about 4 thieves who kidnap a dinosaur for a client so that he could do "things" to it.

I had never done film before and I was amazed at how we were filming this. Dero Sanford was the DP and was using a DSLR, which at the time I had no idea that could shoot at 24FPS and would replicate a film look. Not a tape look, but film.

Joe Maneiro gave me the lowdown at how everything worked and I was totally mind blown. We finished pretty early and everything worked out in post and our film was delivered in time.

We screened on August 27 a t Riverdale Theater in Little Rock. The place was packed! Our film screened very well that night and we would eventually make it into the Top 10 audience choice screening. People vote on their favorite films and the ones that get the most votes screen again.

We screened again along with the top films during an awards ceremony. We picked up our lone award, Laugh out Loud Moment and that wrapped up the 2010 48 hour Film year.

The 48 Hour Film Project introduced me to the film scene in Arkansas. It introduced me to filmmakers and actors and everyone in between. Because Matt and Dero asked me to come on board, this lit a fire in me and would be the first of many films I would go on to act in and eventually direct.

Even though the past few years have changed for the 48HFP, I believe it's helped me tremendously to become a better filmmaker.

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