As an actor, one of my favorite things to do is to act. I know, right? Hard to believe. Every now and then an opportunity comes along for me to do just that and this last weekend was one of those times, so this week you can safely assume that I’m a happy camper.
A couple times a year there is a magical and fantastical event called the Instant Films Festival. They have 4 mandates: Fast, Fun, Faith and Finished. The Fast is because there are only 48 hours in which to write, shoot, edit and score the movies.
The Fun is because, seriously, if you don’t love doing it then you shouldn’t be there because you are very likely going to be deprived of sleep.
The Faith is because writers pull 2 words (words like ‘cranky’ and ‘donut’, for example) and a cast breakdown (i.e. 2 women, 1 man) from a hat and that is all they have to base their scripts on. Then the directors pull one of those screenplays and the names of actors from hats and that’s what they have to work with. The script could call for a 20 year old pretty boy and the director pulled the name of a middle aged man out of a hat, but everyone has to have faith that its going to work out and work out well. And it does. I’ve been so impressed with how people take what they get and make movie magic out of it.
And last there’s Finished. You only have 48 hours. The festival starts at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday night. If your film isn’t there then everyone is disappointed.
I’ve now been a part of this festival 4 times. And its been a great adventure every time. There was the time I got cast with my friend Aaron Lyons and we shot until 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Aaron spent about 16 hours covered in raw meat and chained to a chair in a cold shed. I got to stab him repeatedly. See? Fun!
Then there was the time I got to be a secret agent and walk around in my little black dress brandishing guns. Awesome.
I’ve had the power to read people’s thoughts and communicate telepathically with a guy I thought was hot while his girlfriend sat between us, oblivious. Jolly good time!
This time I was cast with my good friend Shelley Wenk, who is a talented, hilarious and wonderful actress and great fun to work with. Our director was documentary filmmaker John Ennis, with whom I worked on the secret agent film. He’s a fantastic filmmaker. (check out his documentary: Free for All)
Our film was called Porno Music and was about my character, Abby, who finds herself trapped inside a pornographic film. When I’d walk porno music would play and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. And I somehow kept getting water poured on me. I had a blast shooting it and it was so much fun to see at the festival. (The film is not online yet, but once it is I’ll follow up with a link in a future blog).
All the films were amazing. The one that won for best film was Delicious Party, which was absolutely hilarious.
The next Instant Films is Halloween themed and will take place on October 4. If you are in the Los Angeles area you should come and see it! I hope to be in it. And if you want to participate in the festival as a writer, director, actor or crew member check out instantfilms.com.