Jeff Swerdan and Team VernaJune score three big wins at the 48 Hour Film Project: Detroit

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Yes, it’s exciting to see a theater fill with people who were anxious to see two groups of short films that were made over a weekend in a competitive spirit, with filmmakers anxious to be awarded for what they had created.

The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual film competition in which teams of filmmakers are assigned a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue, and have 48 hours to create a short film containing those elements.

The 48 Hour Film Project packed the Redford Theater, 17360 Lahser Rd, Detroit, twice yesterday, August 20, 2022. Opening at 3:00 PM with the first batch of films,  this first group of films ran approximately two hours before intermission.

The first batch of teams to compete included (but not in this particular order): BLK Team Joseph Doheny, Cine Films Calvin Green,  Flatline Films Adam Dewicki,  Ford Studio B Heather Irvine,  House Hold Name Dan Haushalter, Koudo Yaiba Films Ryan Csaszar,  LTUfilmcrew Caleb Banks, Malachite Creative Media Ryann Price, Nain Rouge Films Brad Gallagher,  PritchLee Brandon Pritchett,  Rollin’ Detroit Films Jim Selleck, Ruby Martini Robert Martin,  The Skeleton Crew Christopher Ray,  The Team Emerson Rogers, and VernaJune Jeff Swerdan

The second batch of film started at 5:00 PM,  and by this time,  a whole new audience was waiting in the lobby for the doors to open and people were ambling up to the concession counter,  or were scrambling to take their seats.

The second batch of films started at a few minutes past 5:00 PM and ran until 7:00 PM.  The teams making up this second batch of films included: 52 Scripts Scott Gordon,  Ace High Productions Sarah Root Basilica Pictures John Church,  Broken Multiverse Michael Rizzo,  DAZED Productions Zackery Garcia,  First Flight Films Brett Naples,  HFC Film Hawks Susan McGraw, iFilmFlops Jose Mojica, Play Nice Sherry McLaughlin, Red King Studios Karol Mallon,  Redcran Media Michael Mawilai,  Reel Productions Jack Hale,  TBD Productions Dustin Cehaich,  Team Shevy Melissa Shevela,  The Cherry Martini productions Race Robinson.

When all of the films had been seen, and the audience had turned in its tickets stubs,  the nominations were announced for different categories.  The categories for which a team could be nominated included Best Soundtrack,  Best Original Song,  Best use of the Prop,  Best Actor. and  Best Choreography, among others.

After the team for each category was announced, the winner of each genre is announced. There are 30  genres, with each team given two genres. These genres may include the traditional Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, among others.  This year’s genre BlocK #1 included Action / Adventure, Comedy Crime / Gangster,  Dark Comedy, Fantasy, Film de Femme,  Fish Out of Water, Horror, Mockumentary, Romance, Sci Fi, Silent Film ,Superhero, and Thriller / Suspense.

Block # 2 included Buddy Film,  Climate Film,  Coming of Age,  Doppelganger/Mistaken Identity,  Family Film, Heist,  Legal Film, Musical, Mystery, Period Piece, Revenge, Road Movie, Tearjerker, Time Travel Movie, and Vacation / Holiday Film.

Now in what may prove to be the most difficult decision of the weekend, each team will be assigned two genres – one from Group #1 and one from Group #2 as listed below. The film must be true to one of the genres assigned.

Now, within a 48 hour window beginning Friday evening at 7:00 PM and ending Sunday at 7:00 PM, each team will dig deep into their creativity and create a finished film. This includes writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack.

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So excited. Our team received 8 nominations and won 3 Awards last night at the 48 Hour Film Project: Detroit.

When winners were announced, team VernaJune (Jeff Swerdan’s production company), won Best Road Movie for their short “Getaway Retreat”,  Best Make-Up (by Gals and Ghouls) , and Best Movie Trailer.

They were also nominated for these categories:Best Soundtrack,  Best Original Song,  Best use of the Prop, Best Actor: Ian Griffin, Best Acting Ensemble, and Best Choreography

Said Swerdan, “So honored that our team was able to be recognized and that our movie was able to hold its own against some of the best filmmakers Michigan has to offer.

“I don’t really dwell to much on the competitions. It’s nice to win awards, but I use them as a way to improve myself and my craft.

Team VernaJune was comprised of Jeff Swerdan, Breanna Swerdan, Lori Swerdan,Terrance Ottis Williams,  Joseph Calhoun, Keith Fleetwood, Zay LouisSandra TurnerAdam Haubenstricker, Margaret Teall, Dayna Green, Smada Adams, Elaine Keidel JeskePJ DakotaWally KleitTricia DonnellyTimothy WoodJason Bates, Elijah William Gardy, Martez Wilson, Marcell Prince,  Gadget Addy, Jemini Calhoun, Mike Seffens, Lila Teall, Charlotte Teall, Cate Connelly, Charli Crossland, Vicki Prince, Desmond Turner, Les Turner, and Meghan Martin

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