Before entering the Pittsburgh 48-Hour Film Project, Ephraim Stockwell and Ted E. Haynes had never won an award for filmmaking. But while waiting anxiously for the Pittsburgh 48-Hour Film Project awards ceremony at Bridgeville's former Star City Theater on Aug. 11, the director and producer of Aloomination Productions hoped their luck would change.
"We've got to win something," Stockwell said to Haynes about two hours before awards were announced.
"It's like Little League," Haynes joked. "We'll all win something."
From August 3-5, Aloomination Productions was one of 28 teams and more than 280 filmmakers racing against the clock to finish a four-to-seven minute short-film [See City Paper, Against the Clock, Aug. 8]. For the contest, each group had to pick a genre out of a hat, and filmmakers were required to use a given prop, line of dialogue and local landmark in their film. The team that wins "Best Film of Pittsburgh" moves on to compete against 65 other teams and have a chance to have their film screened at Filmapalooza, the official 48-Hour Film Project Awards Weekend.
Out of the 28 teams entered in the competition, 20 completed on time, five were late and three didn't finish.
Haynes' team beat the clock, and going into the award ceremony, their chances looked promising. A panel of three judges, including "Night of the Living Dead" producer Russ Streiner, award-winning producer Amy Lamb, nominated 10 films for "Best Film of Pittsburgh," and Haynes' team made the list.
And once event organizers Rick Frisco and Jay Kuntz rattled off a list of 34 awards, it's official: Stockwell and Haynes were award-winning filmmakers. Their romance film, "Love Addict," didn't win the big prize, but it did take three awards, including "Best Use of Landmark," "Best Graphics" and "Best Cinematography." The film's acting also received an Honorable Mention award.
"It feels very good," Haynes said after receiving his team's awards. "Our guys worked their asses off."
"It's awesome," added Stockwell. "This is really nice."
Orionvega Designs' detective/cop film, "Times Up," beat out the rest of the field to win "Best Film of Pittsburgh." "Heart Failure," a road film by Mike Productions, placed second.
All of the completed films were screened for the public on August 8 and 9. For Stockwell and Haynes, it was the first time they were able to see their romance film, "Love Addict," in its entirety. (You can watch their film at www.aloomination.com.)
Their seven-minute film drew murmurs from the audience of the first screening on Aug. 8 after the final scene unexpectedly turns the romance of two lesbian lovers into obsession. The end of the short film shows two FBI agents swarming the bedroom and arresting one of the women. After two flashback scenes, the horrifying reality of the romance is revealed.
"I heard some mumbles and someone said, 'Obviously they hired actors,'" Stockwell says. "That felt good."
"I was proud of the mumbles," adds Haynes. "I busted my ass to get professionals."
As for their own impression of "Love Addict," Stockwell says his team "nailed it."
Haynes was just as happy with their movie, but watching it, he said, made him wish they had just a little more time to correct some minor glitches.
"It was a lot like watching your child be born," Haynes says. "It looks so good, but what's all that shit on it?"
To watch "Love Addict" go to www.aloomination.com