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Whirlwind production

"Whirlwind production" Continued...

Issue: "Who will vote?," April 21, 2012

Then it was time for composer Fred Smith and sound editor Brandon Griffith to get to work. Smith's top priority was pacing. He started by plotting a roadmap of the film's rhythm using composition software. Then he added layers of high strings and low bass, creating a minimalist soundtrack that conveyed urgency. Griffith worked on sound editing from his home, re-recording dialogue and giving sound to the "tornado" by combining wind, rustling paper, banging metal, and even freight train sounds. He added Smith's soundtrack, then mixed the sound level so each line could be heard.

Meanwhile the producers discussed the film's budget. The whole thing cost an estimated $3,500. They had raised more than $2,300 from church members, actors, friends, and family. The Bentivengos agreed to cover the rest.

On Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours until the deadline, a copy of the rough cut went to colorist Keith Roush, who made sure the color levels from the two cameras matched. He worked at a station that resembles a turntable, with each wheel representing a different color component.

Early Friday morning, editor Reithmayr went back to work, combining the colored version and the sound, and adjusting the specs to match the 168 requirements. At 9 a.m., he loaded the final product onto an external hard drive and Riggs got stuck in traffic driving it to the Media City Church. At 10:19 a.m., 41 minutes before the 11 a.m. deadline, Dennis Bentivengo cartwheeled over the finish line and turned in Shaken.

On stage at the Alex Theatre a month later, Ware opens the envelope and pulls out the card: "...Refuge," he announces, referring to another short film set in Iraq. The Bentivengos stand up-along with Riggs and the cast and crew-and cheer for their fellow contender.

Although they didn't win the top prize, the Bentivengos plan to send the film to other film festivals, partner with like-minded 168 filmmakers on future projects, and return to the whirlwind of competition again next year.

Angela Lu
Angela Lu

Angela is a reporter for WORLD News Group who lives and works in Los Angeles. She enjoys cooking, reading, and storytelling. Follow Angela on Twitter @angela818.

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