With a Value Village coupon, a picture of three men and the location of a barn as their inspiration props, Ella Wiggins and her six teammates were prepared to compete in Fredericton’s 11th annual 48 Hour Film Competition.
“I loved the inspiration packages,” said Wiggins. The props added to the creativity, as Wiggins and her team needed to figure out how they would incorporate them into the film.
“I liked the challenge.”
Wiggins, who’s in her second year of leadership studies at the University of New Brunswick, said she joined Fredericton’s 48 Hour Film Competition because she thought she might get bonus marks for her screenwriting class. Plus she wanted to “test out the waters” to see if she had a talent for filming. Although she didn’t get any bonus marks, Wiggins said she learned some valuable time management skills.
“This was all of our first times, so none of us really knew what we were getting into,” she said.
For the competition, the teams had 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and submit their film to the judges. Eating nothing but pepperoni pizza for two days, Wiggins and her teammates worked as fast as they could to complete their film. It only took Wiggins and her co-writer, Zachary Hugh, an hour and a half to write the script, but filming and editing took up the rest of their time.
“[The 48 hours] really limited where we could shoot and how long we could shoot for,” Wiggins said. “We couldn’t drive three hours to go to a certain a location where we really wanted to go because we only had a certain amount of time in the day and the weather could only cooperate so much.”
Directed and edited by Geoffery Russo, Misadventure is a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired film written by Wiggins and McHugh about a man on a quest to retrieve a prize from a barn. When he returns to town, the man learns the quest master was killed, meaning he couldn’t collect his payment. Throughout the film, the man also does “basic D&D shenanigans” like going to the shop, interacting with the tavern keeper and dealing with guards.
Misadventure stars Wiggins and McHugh alongside Spencer Gould, Dylan Eddington, Owen Boyle and Brett Inglis.
Wiggins said one of the most stressful parts of production was the cut scenes. Rushing to write the script, Wiggins and Hugh realized they were missing a couple of scenes and had to redo them. Unable to waste any time, some of the scenes had to be improvised, which proved to be better in the long run.
“Don’t underestimate people’s ability to think on the spot,” Wiggins said. “A lot of our lines were improvised and they’re probably the best lines in the film.”
Between working on the film and enjoying 48 hours worth of pizza, Wiggins said she and her team “bonded more as friends and as a team.”
For anyone looking to join Fredericton’s 48 Hour Film Competition next year, Wiggins has some advice.
“Writing is important, but don’t overwrite,” Wiggins said. “Keep it simple and you’ll have a great film … Also, strawberry Nesquik makes the best blood.”