It’s nice waking up in MovieMaker Magazine’s “#1 Town” for filmmakers to live and work. But I must say, we wake up every day knowing full well it could turn out more like #2, or worse. How stiff was the competition? Where is another town with a population of 100,000 or less earning nicknames like “The Paris of the South”, “The San Francisco of the East”, or “Beer City USA”? MovieMaker Magazine explains:
Voted the most beautiful place in the United States by Good Morning, America, Asheville sets the gold standard for best small town moviemaking. From the Pisgah National Forest to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Art Deco downtown to the Biltmore Estate, it has a vibrant history with productions like Last of the Mohicans, The Green Mile, The Hunt for Red October, The Hunger Games—and who could ever forget the Dirty Dancing lift scene from Lake Lure?
With nearly a dozen local film festivals (including the Chuck Norris-inspired ActionFest), community support from the Asheville Cinema Society, the Asheville Film Society, Asheville Area Arts Council, Screen Artists Co-op, and Western North Carolina Film Commission, the town is chock full of pre- and post- production facilities and some of the friendliest crew around. “The Hunger Games would not have been possible without all of the support from the local community and WNC Film Commission,” said director Gary Ross.
I was born in Asheville, moved away and came back in 2005. I haven’t seen everything, but driving this evening, as the highway reached a favorite panorama, the sunset over mountain peaks seemed to have everything. And when I walk through the forest here, there’s a hint why Cherokee Indians still hold such deep reverence for Western North Carolina. It’s not an easy living for filmmakers in Asheville, but it can be a good life.
What can be more fun than having a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and your team make a movie? Could it be the elation days later when everyone in town watches your masterpiece up on the big screen? The 48 Hour Film Project offers filmmakers the chance to write, shoot, edit, score and complete their film within 48 hours. All submitted films are then screened in a local cinema.
The 2013 Asheville 48 Hour Film Project was one again produced by Bruce Sales, and sponsored by 2BruceStudio, Western North Carolina Film Commission, Asheville Brewing Company, Venture Asheville, Makeup at the Grove Arcade, and Asheville Music School.
24 teams of roughly 400 filmmakers flooded Asheville to compete during the weekend of June 21-23. The Asheville Citizen-Times embedded reporter, Barbara Blake, penned a wonderful story for the cover of the Sunday Times, “Film Project Challenges Creative Minds”. You will also find a “Behind the Scenes” video about a winning team’s spirit of improvisation.
It seemed like everyone in town came to the screenings and picked winners from June 25-27. The best was saved for “The Best Of” screening and awards show in July. It was a red carpet event with many local filmmakers caught on camera. The Best Film from Asheville, “The Audition” by Team UNCA, will be in the running for top honors in Hollywood, CA at Filmapalooza 2014, the 48 Hour Film Project’s annual awards.
Bruce Sales was responsible for final audio post production on “The Day Carl Sandburg Died”, a documentary by Paul Bonesteel and the team at Bonesteel Films. Besides cleaning up audio on all the vintage Carl Sandburg interviews, there was sound design and even a bit of mouth percussion Bruce performed. This film will premier nationally on American Masters Monday, September 24, 10-11:30 p.m. (ET) on PBS. Read more…