Adam Luger, cinematographer for 52 Scripts talks about his team and the 48 HFP

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Team 52 Scripts scooped up thirteen awards at the November 12, 48 HFP Horror Detroit,  something that was largely unprecedented.  Their 8-minute+ short film “The House Hunters” was awarded Best Film is about a yoga instructor who agrees to house-sit a luxurious house unwittingly aware of its owner’s nefarious intent.

52 Scripts’ thirteen awards include top honors for Best Actress (Kara O’Connor), Best Editing (Adam Luger), Best Director (Scott Gordon), Best Writing, Best Cinematography, and … Best Film and Indie Choice Award!

This team, or its core four members, has been together for the last eight years,  the participating 10 members which helped create this prize-winning short film have been together for the last three films which they have created.  And as a team, they have placed third place, first place, and first place with their last three films.

As a result, 52 Scripts qualifies to take its two first-place winners to Filmapalooza 2020 in Rotterdam in the Netherlands where they will represent Detroit.

What does it take to win twice in a row?  Cinematographer Adam Luger talks here about his team and what they have planned.

How does it feel to be part of a team that practically swept the boards at the 48 HFP? I understand that you also did this this past summer as well.

Our team has been competing in the 48 HFP every year, for the past 8 years. The first year we participated, we didn’t win anything, but we had a great time and wanted to compete again. Every year since we’ve tried to improve across the board; from preproduction to locations, to costumes, to editing, all while experimenting with new genres, outside of our comfort zone. It has been extremely rewarding being able to witness the growth of our team over the past eight years. To be honest, awards aside, we still agree that participating in the 48 HFP is one of the most fun weekends of the year for us.

Wow, this is great. This AM I couldn’t find anything on your team. Now I have your story. Thank you.

Yea, we don’t do anything (production-wise) outside of the 48 HFP,  so we have a YouTube page, but that’s it

Yes, I was on that this morning.

We’re all planning on going to Filmapalooza in Rotterdam in March with our two winning films

The Netherlands?

Yea.

That sounds like a great way to represent Detroit.

Yea, speaking of Detroit. We actually had access to shoot our horror film in Aretha Franklin’s old house but chose a different, more modern one instead.

Interesting.  From a purely historical perspective, I would have personally gone with Aretha’s house. But this is a choice the team made.

Definitely. The house was pretty run down, so had we pulled an appropriate genre (haunted house, ghost, etc) we probably would have gone that route. Since we drew Home Invasion as our genre, we wanted to go with something that seemed more lived-in.

I loved the turn your film took at the end.

Thanks! We definitely prioritize some sort of surprise ending when coming up with our stories.

But other than doing the 48 HFP, you guys don’t do any other films? Isn’t there one that you would like to do?

There’s two members of the team who work in the industry, myself and Scott Wasserman. We each own small production companies. The rest of the group have “normal” 9-5 jobs, and just do this as a hobby.

Understood.

We talk about making something longer/bigger every year, but it seems to be too tough with everyone’s schedule. The irony is that the 48-hour time constraint, which sounds like a hindrance, is actually the only way we’re able to pull something like this off because everyone knows to block off the entire weekend.

I see. I imagine that doing it under the constraints that you do as a participating team of the 48 HFP can be really taxing, as well as nerve-wracking, Tell me more about this experience.

Definitely. In the first couple of years we struggled with it more, but we’ve gotten used to it, and know what needs to be done at specific times of the weekend. For example, we always finish our script Friday night and start shooting early AM on Saturday. We typically shoot everything on Saturday and start editing Saturday night until we can’t keep our eyes open. We take a 4-hour break, and usually, have a pretty solid cut by noon on Sunday. The rest of the day is spent touching it up with color correction, balancing, audio, and adding any special effects or sound effects.

And you have done this for eight years? You are true veterans of this challenge. Has it always been the same team.member? And does everyone pretty much know what they are going to be doing as each challenge starts?

We’ve had the same core members (4 of us) since the first film. We’ve added (and subtracted) members along the way including actors, writers, PAs, etc.  We’ve had the same group (10 members) for the last three films we’ve made, which have come in third place, first place, and first place, so we’re really happy with where the group is now.

Having done it this many times, you have had a chance to perfect everything. Other than it appearing in the Netherlands, how do you plan on marketing this latest film?

We’re definitely looking into it! We’ve obviously very proud of what we’ve created and would love to share it with as many people as possible. However, at the end of the day (as I mentioned before) we don’t participate in the competition for the accolades that come with winning, rather we’re just a group of friends who enjoy creating something in a very specific and challenging environment.

With your film’s surprise ending and the clever play on its title, I think your success is assured.

About Adam Luger

Adam Luger (31) of Berkley, MI served as co-producer, cinematographer and editor for team 52 Scripts.   He is the owner of Blue Racer Productions, a small video production company in Metro Detroit, specializing in wedding videography.

About Filmapalooza 2020: Dutch Edition, Rotterdam in the Netherlands

From March 3rd-7th, 2020, hundreds of filmmakers, writers, actors, and film lovers converge upon Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for five days of films, workshops, parties, networking, and fun. The Filmapalooza experience will include:

• Screenings of the 135 city-winning 48HFP and genre competition films from around the world, plus the winners of the Four Points Film Project
• The awarding of the official Best Film trophies to City Winners at a special festival-wide Awards Ceremony
• Announcement of the 2019 48HFP tour global awards as selected by our panel of international judges
• See which films will represent the 48 HFP at the official screening at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner in May of 2020

About the 48 HFP
The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie – write, shoot, and edit – in just 48 hours. On Friday night, teams draw a genre from a hat. They are then given a character, prop and line to include in their films. On Sunday night, in a wild dash to the drop off event, the film is turned in – and teams celebrate. The film is then screened at a local theater in front of an audience of filmmakers, friends and families.

 

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