“It’s what I have to do,” says Jaron Henrie-McCrea in response to being asked whether he’ll continue filmmaking after winning the judges’ prize for best film in the 48 Hour Film Project competition, held for the first time ever in Indianapolis over the weekend of June 23.
Henrie-McCrea’s film Floyd is an imaginative and entertaining fantasy featuring a young man with a never-ending supply of eggs from a magical egg carton. The carton was one of the elements required in the deceptively simple constraints of the 48 Hour Film Project: Make a four- to seven-minute film in 48 hours. On Friday night, contestants are given their film genre, which is different for each team, a character name and occupation, a line of dialogue and a prop that must be included in each film. Teams then have until Sunday evening to write, shoot, edit and compose a score for their short works.
Thirteen films debuted to a full house the following Tuesday night at Key Cinemas, which, along with Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, sponsored the local contest. After years of seeing teams from Indiana competing in the Chicago event, the project finally came to Indianapolis for the first time this year and showcased impressive imagination and skills, including talking spaniels, an 18-month-old comedian and a truly remarkable fish impersonation — a performance that won a special acting award.
Although team members must be volunteers, Floyd, the favorite of both judges and audience members, had the benefit of producers who studied film and television at Ball State and are pursuing careers in the field. Henrie-McCrea is a student at Columbia University’s film school and his buddies Martin Monahan and Brad Gunter are actors living in Chicago. The team was rounded out with Henrie-McCrea’s parents — his mother read about the contest and encouraged her son to enter, and his father helped engineer some of the special effects shots. The Floyd team earned the right to compete against best-picture winners from other cities around the world for a $7,500 cash prize.
The project will “definitely” be back next year, according to Ira Livingston, the project’s Indianapolis producer. “Indy’s great.”