Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

The Duel YouTube Pic

An unnamed hero faces imminent danger as he confronts a gluttonous mob boss and his two henchmen. Just as he is about to make his move, something unexpected happens that completely changes his world.  This film premiered at the Phoenix Art Museum on August 10th 2012 for the IFP Beat the Clock Challenge 2012. It was Nominated for best trailer, Awarded 3rd Place overall and Best Actress (Chelsea Samuelson). It screened at the Phoenix Film Festival during

an IFP Short’s Finals showcase at Harkins Theatres Scottsdale 101 and took home 2nd Place overall. It was an Official Selection of Phoenix Comicon 2013 and nominated for several awards including: Best of Arizona, Best Narrative Short, and Best Action Adventure.

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64330_314153972046078_2092282656_nProduced by: JP Frydrych and Craig MacDonald
Directed, Shot, and Edited by: Robert Garcia
Written by: Nicki Legge
Set Photographer: Jacquelyn Nelson
Makeup & Wardrobe: Devon Garcia
Script Supervisor: Chelsea Samuelson
Behind the Scenes: Herbert Steve Hernandez
Lighting Technician: Jeff Elwell

Sound Design: Nile Popchock


Hero: JP Frydrych
Villain: Herbert Steve Hernandez
Comic Book Boy: Craig MacDonald
The Duel ActressComic Book Girl: Chelsea Samuelson
Henchmen: Jonathan Levy Maiuri & Mike Diaz
Damsel and Jackie: Nicki Legge
 Alvis Scary and Cool Kat Lyss

Special Thanks to:Haus Murphy’s
Drawn to Comics
Kathy’s Corner Boutique
IFP Phoenix

The Duel 3rd place

Award Nominated Comicon

By: Nicki Legge

Desiree Srinivas

“I’m surrounded by people who are capable of changing the world someday.”

It is not particularly often that you find an actress with looks, talent, enthusiasm, and professionalism all wrapped in one, but Desiree Srinivas achieves all of these things flawlessly. Jump Ship Productions has had the pleasure of working with her during the IFP Breakout Challenge in 2012, and she was an absolute delight throughout the project. It seems lately that I cannot go to a major function without running into her, and she always happens to be working on some interesting project, literally right there on the spot. Since Desiree is currently doing so much within the industry, we thought it would be the perfect time to write about her as our Filmmaker of the Week!

Desiree comes from a family that appreciates the comforts of a good salary, so it was not easy for her to take the plunge into the film community; however, now that she has, she cannot imagine ever living without it. She is currently starting her second year at Arizona State University as a Marketing student. She did try exploring her options in theater for a semester but decided that it would be better to “get (her) coaching for acting and film outside of school and focus on a degree that will benefit (her) in more ways than one.” Desire has been involved in the AZ film community for a little over a year, but she says “it feels like so much longer with all of the change and growth I’ve experienced over the last year.” Her ultimate passion is acting, thinking of each character as a different variation of herself; however, her hunger for film is insatiable so she takes every opportunity, in front of or behind the camera, to be on set.

When divulging what she loves about film, Desiree’s passion absolutely shines through. She says “I think the greatest thing in film is the insane amounts of passion… Getting the opportunity to immerse myself within this small film family has made me realize that I’m surrounded by people who are capable of changing the world someday… Film lets me tell a story. It lets me convey, and hopefully evoke, emotion in someone… though I haven’t been in this industry for long, I can honestly say having the accessibility to do that has already changed me as a person.” Thus far, Desiree has been involved in (roughly) 15 or so projects, including student short films, feature films, television, and a variety of other film-related shoots. She was the main actress in Jump Ship’s own Face of Innocence. She was recently involved in a film in the 2013 Almost Famous Film Festival’s 48-Hour Film Challenge.


Most recently, Desiree has begun working on a new film called Helsing with ARTofWAR Pictures.  Her good friend Ryan Johnston has had the project brewing in his brain for some time. With her help fleshing out the story, as well as the talents of Will Hirsch writing the script, they were able to bring the idea to life on paper and have taken considerable steps toward bringing it to life on screen. Helsing is a spinoff of the notorious story of Van Helsing, with an original script and a unique western and steam punk-infused style.” Aside from helping with the story, Desiree will also be playing the Vampire Queen Moria, “the first victim that Dracula ever turned into an immortal vampire, who serves as the antagonist against Van Helsing in his never-ending hunt for Dracula.”

Desiree uses an array of techniques to get into character, switching it up as she needs to for different types of roles.  She says “for Helsing in particular, I am going to be doing something a little different. Over the next month, I plan to meet with Ryan for multiple rehearsals to work on the character development for Moria. I also plan to work closely with Wardrobe (Autumn Lewis) to get comfortable in the gaudy, eccentric wardrobe pieces… in order to evolve into this character.” Desiree considers this her most difficult role to date, but she plans to make it her strongest performances. ARTofWAR is in the processes of putting a Kickstarter campaign together in order to raise funds for the production. The team has already done some impressive work on the film, securing locations as well as a full cast and crew, and even completing their first day of filming. You can check the film out on Facebook, and keep an eye out for their Kickstarter; it starts next week!

Aside from being a talented actress, Desiree has also started doing a little modeling. With a few gigs under her belt already, she recently filled in for a missing model at a booth during the Phoenix Film Festival Industry Night for Brian Pulido’s new comic book character, Maria Muerta.” Her friend, Sage Greenawalt, asked if she could fill in for the missing model; his father, Mark Greenawalt, “is a notorious, insanely talented body painter,” and he was doing the makeup for the model that night. They loved Desiree so much that they brought her back on for Phoenix Comicon. Desiree is interested in dabbling in modeling a bit more alongside acting. If you are interested in working with her, you can find her on Facebook or email her Here.

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By: Nicki Legge

Photo By: Brandon Sullivan

Most families have activities that they enjoy doing together, like family game night, Sunday dinner, or camping. Diane Dresback and her sons, Devon Dresback and Trenton Kennedy, spend their family time exercising their creativity and making award winning films together. Most recently, this extraordinary family took part in the Almost Famous Film Festival’s (A3F) 48 Hour Challenge where they took home Best Overall Film; Audience Favorite; the Brock H. Brown Best Script Award; Best Director; and their two main actors, Colleen Hartnett and Rafael Munguia, both took home awards for Outstanding Individual Performances.  This year’s A3F 48 Hour Challenge produced a collection of some of the best 48 hour challenge films I have ever seen, and their film, Afterword really stood out as the most captivating and visually beautiful of all top 20 films. Jump Ship Productions had the pleasure of interviewing all three family members about their experiences working together on and off set and creating their film Afterword.

I find it impressive that there are three award winning filmmakers in one family; do you have any other family members that work within the film industry?

DIANE: The only person I met only a few years back is my uncle, James Marino, who lives in San Diego. He is always there with positive words of encouragement for us! I am hoping to actually have an opportunity to work with him on a project at some time in the future.

Do you all usually stick to the same roles when you work together (i.e., Diane as the Producer, Trenton as the writer, and Devon as the Director)? When you work separately, do you also stick to the same roles, or do you take on other responsibilities as well?

DIANE: Mostly when we’ve worked together on projects, yes we have stuck to the same roles. Although, I will say that we all venture across boundaries at times to get whatever needs to be done, done! That involves acting, shooting and editing.

On my own projects, I typically write, direct and also end up producing and editing, if needed. Having said that, I often seek input from both Devon and Trenton on my scripts as they really do give me very honest feedback…no fluffy stuff! Which is helpful.

What inspired each of you to venture into the wonderful world of filmmaking?

TRENT: I’m actually a video game designer by day. My girlfriend Deanna Nygren (3D Artist) and I just moved back to Phoenix to start a small independent game studio. We were in Austin, TX for several years working in the game industry (on games like Halo 4 and DC Universe Online). I’m primarily a designer, but I did do some writing on DCUO; hearing iconic characters like Batman (Kevin Conroy), Superman (Adam Baldwin), The Joker (Mark Hamill), and Lex Luthor (James Marsters) read lines I wrote was truly thrilling. (Luckily I had editors supporting me so it made it sound even better!). Games are my first love, but film has always been my mistress on the side. I’m grateful I can ride Devon and Diane’s coattails and help out.

DEVON: For me it began as an obsession with blowing things up around 14. My friends and I would get our own chemicals offline, mix them ourselves and film all the glorious destruction. I was quite the crazy little pyromaniac. From there it spawned into an interest in “special effects“. You know, fake videos of blowing up the dog, ripping my friends in half, normal kid stuff like that… But around 16, I really started getting interested in narrative film.

DIANE: Right out of college, I was co-owner of a production company, where we filmed corporate and personal events for about seven years before I returned to corporate work…. After being in love with creative writing as a kid, I had a writing professor my first semester of college that convinced me that I shouldn’t be doing any creative writing. So, I spent years in corporate America writing business documents, reports and training programs. About ten years ago, I had a personal situation occur that inspired me to write my first feature length screenplay. It was Trenton, who was still in high school at the time, who convinced me I could do it! And I did. Of course, it took a few years and I went through some terrible drafts…but, I finished it. Around that same time, and after 26 years in corporate America working mostly as a manager and senior executive in the travel and financial industries, in 2007, I returned to the production world only now with more of a focus on narrative filmmaking. And you are right, Nicki, it is wonderful!


“We were in Austin, TX for several years working in the game industry (on games like Halo 4 and DC Universe Online).”

One of the things that I find to be most important on set is chemistry between the crew members. Does it seem to be easier to work with each other because you already have that family chemistry, or are there different aspects that become more difficult on set?

TRENT: A producer is already like a mother in a lot of ways! It definitely helps to know exactly what to expect from team members. It makes it much easier to concentrate on your own role and trust the rest have it handled. I hadn’t worked with most of the rest of the team, but Devon and Diane had, so again it was just a matter of trusting their judgment. They pulled together an awesome crew and three great actors.

DEVON: Chemistry is everything for me on set, and I choose my cast and crew very delicately. Patience is everything, because one bad attitude can bring down everyone’s moral. It’s actually surprisingly normal to work with family on set, because they understand the process and the time it takes. Also I think it’s because we usually share a similar vision, so there’s not too much conflict.

DIANE: I have come to understand how to work best with my boys. I know when I need to keep my mouth shut and go with what they are saying and when I need to put in my opinion, based on my experience. I believe all three of us recognize that we bring different strengths to the table. I don’t behave like a mom on set…although, I do sneak a hug once in a while when no one is looking just to encourage and acknowledge them. Ha!

Do you find that a lot of your conversations off set revolve around filmmaking or the film industry in general, or do you tend to keep the “shop talk:” separate from family time?

TRENT: I am immensely grateful to have such a creative significant other (Deanna Nygren). We can’t help but “talk shop” a lot, but we do try to keep a balance. It’s impossible not to share in each other’s excitement. The amazing art she creates is a huge inspiration for my ideas.

DIANE: Admittedly, conversations with Devon and Trenton often revolve around filmmaking and film projects. I like to say that our conversations are always creative. Recently, we started playing a board/roleplay game that Trenton is teaching us. There are a lot of similarities with filmmaking in character development and storytelling. My boyfriend, Rick has never been around filmmaking, so he enjoys hearing about it (thankfully!), but I try not to dominate our conversation…although I could talk for hours about indie filmmaking!

What made you decide to participate in the A3F 48 hour challenge this year?

DEVON: It’s always a great competition but I wasn’t originally planning on entering. However my brother had just moved back into town and my mom totally pulled the family card, saying we hadn’t worked on anything together as a family in a long time. I’m extremely glad she convinced us though.

DIANE: I love supporting Jae Staats and Jason Francois by participating in their A3F film challenges. Plus, it had been a couple of years since Devon, Trenton and I had done this particular challenge on the same team. The last A3F we did together was back in February 2011, when we surprised the audience by making two films that played off of each other….different perspectives. The idea, which was Devon’s, was really clever and lead to another insane weekend. Oh, did I say that I was half way through producing a feature film when we took the weekend off to make those two shorts in 48 hours? I think a little insanity runs through this family!

Where did you find your inspiration for “Afterword?”

TRENT: Having our actors and a main location lined up helped immensely when writing the script. Imagining what sort of characters they would be good at playing was important. The stories I love tend to have very gray characters. They’re clearly flawed, but there’s something about them that draws you in.

Afterword is centered on two imperfect characters looking back on their past relationship. My inspiration came primarily from the idea that with time comes perspective. It’s always easier to see what went wrong in hindsight. The real question (and one that Afterword leaves up to the viewer to answer) is, does that new perspective actually change anything?

Trent, did you work closely with Devon in terms of visuals while writing the script?

TRENT: Devon and I have many similar tastes. Writing with your actors in mind helps considerably; writing with your director in mind is equally helpful. I gave Devon an idea of how I pictured things, but the best part of working with him is seeing what he pictured when reading what I wrote.

Devon, one of the things that I found to be the most impressive was how rapidly the emotion in the film turned from happy to sad. Was it difficult to get your actors to flip that switch so quickly (especially under the pressure of a 48 hour time crunch)? What techniques did you use to help them change their mood?

DEVON: I’m glad you mentioned this. From the first talk of this idea, this specific dynamic is really what drew me in. I wanted these characters to be comfortable enough with each other to address the lower points in their past, but also the audience needed to feel just as comfortable, like they had lived through the moments with these characters. The climax had to carry weight, and we did as much as we could to ensure a connection between audience and these characters. Shooting the locations with their respective dialogue was a trip! The moods would rapidly swap and the actors were extremely versatile. I used a couple personal techniques, but also actually developed a few on accident. Colleen asked me about one, and if I had done it intentionally. I said no, but next time I will have. I felt the fluctuation of the dialogue and mood between the two characters came off surprisingly real and not as forced as I had feared. This was due largely in part to Rafael and Colleen, who are both incredibly adaptable actors. Also, 5 minutes is quite a short time to expect compassion from the audience, so our gimmick really allowed for us to cover a lot of emotional ground.

Actors Afterword

Rafael Munguia and Colleen Hartnett, both took home awards for
Outstanding Individual Performances.
Photos By: Brandon Sullivan

Obviously there were some parts of the dialogue that had to be said in certain locations, like talking about stir-fry in the kitchen; however other pieces of dialogue weren’t necessarily location specific. During the shoot, did you already have an idea of when you wanted to transition from one location to another, or was that decided in post-production?

DEVON: This was a huge concern of mine from the get go. Even though I loved the idea, I had an inkling that we might be shooting ourselves in the foot. One missed line of dialogue with 6 very scattered locations could cause some serious issues. Luckily my brother really nailed down every piece of dialogue and every location. It was a terrifying script to flip through though, because it was written exactly how it played. So returning to a location later in the film meant that the dialogue would be scattered throughout the script, and jump from page to page…even when it was just a couple words.

The dialogue seemed to flow so seamlessly from location to location, did you have to do a lot of ADR work to ensure that the sound would be consistent throughout all of the locations?

DEVON: Surprisingly, no. We only had to ADR two lines I believe. But at one point we were battling a juke box, and in between every song we would have about 10 seconds for Colleen to get her line. It was about as indy as you can get.

Trent, story is such an important part of filmmaking, and without the proper structure within a script, a story can fall apart very quickly. Have you attended any classes on writing or received any formal training?

TRENT: Not beyond a couple classes in college. I credit any useful techniques I’ve picked up to my joy of reading. Afterword uses a lot of repetition which gives it almost a poetic feel. I wanted the characters’ change in perspective to be evident. I love how much meaning comes through in how a line is spoken. Saying the same line but with a different emotion changes the meaning drastically. That’s difficult to do in written text, but it’s something we take for granted in speech because it comes naturally.

What was your favorite part about this challenge?


On the Set of “Afterword”

TRENT: Even though nobody was getting paid, our cast and crew were truly professionals. It was not an easy shoot but I didn’t hear one complaint the entire time.

DEVON: The screening. There’s always just so much energy, and nerves flying around in that theater. Almost on cue every time, the film before ours will begin to play and that feeling will set in. Excitement, terror, nausea, what if we missed the boom in one of our shots (which we definitely did). It’s this strange barrage of sensations that really is irreplaceable.cast and crew were truly professionals. It was not an easy shoot but I didn’t hear one complaint the entire time.

DIANE: Gosh, it’s hard to say, I love the whole process as well as the screening. But, if you let me pick two, I would say the first one is when we finally wrapped. It was a satisfying feeling knowing (hoping) we captured everything. Plus, everybody was so exhausted, it felt good to congratulate and thank them all after such a long day and night that was nonstop. The second part was seeing the rough cut of the film. This time we were fortunate to have very talented Jerrod Saba as our editor and TJ Bucco had designed some wonderful music. Watching that first cut gave me chills because at that point, I knew we had a good little film.

What was your least favorite part?

TRENT: The drunks at the bar location. Someone should probably tell that story…

DEVON: Drunk bar patrons. Seriously, telling them “quiet on the set” was like taking the binkies away from a room full of toddlers. It didn’t help that they were there for the most emotional scene in the movie. I’m not terribly confrontational, but there was a moment where one of the guys yelled some really off color things in the middle of one of our takes, and I was about to go full David O’Russell. I felt awful for putting my actors through that especially in a scene where they were both exposing everything they had as actors. But despite the drunkard’s efforts, Rafael and Colleen were both exceedingly professional, and both went on to win awards for their acting.

DIANE: Well, it would seem that I should say, dealing with the drunks. However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say although it was a tough section of the shoot, as the producer, I felt extremely happy that I was able to hold together all the pieces – the bar patrons who were drunk but were also customers of the location we were shooting in, the bartender who was concerned about her customers, the unrepeatable comments being made to me by a completely inebriated man while I was trying to coerce him to stay quiet for 30 seconds, an irritated writer who didn’t like what that guy was saying to his mother and an upset director because it was extremely challenging for his actors. It was one of the more difficult situations that I have experienced as a producer/crew member, but the bottom-line is that we got the shots we needed, didn’t get kicked out of the location, didn’t have any fights breakout and Devon got the performances he needed to make that scene work. I chalk that up as a success! I like challenges. I kind of thrive on them, actually.

My least favorite part of the shoot? Trying to hold those darn bounce boards still in the wind at the first outside location.

Diane, working under such an intense deadline can kill any production, but your film looked like it was shot over a couple of weeks rather than a couple of days. What are some of your tips and tricks for keeping your production organized and on schedule without losing any of the quality?

DIANE: As soon as we settled on an idea and I found Trenton had written a great script, I no longer stayed involved with the creative side but switched immediately to figuring out how we could make this crazy production work within the time constraints before us. I am an organizer…always have been even in my corporate days and now in my film work. I took the time to figure out very thoroughly and quickly the best order for locations, all the wardrobe changes our actors needed, the props and the set design pieces that we had to haul around in my car for this film. You have to stay focused on the task at hand and just push through things. I rarely sit down for a break…I just keep going (3 hours sleep out of 60 from Friday morning to Sunday night). And, like any good indie producer, I keep the production moving forward.

ninthTrent, when writing for a challenge like the A3F 48 hour, does it seem to hinder your creativity to be given the line of dialogue, prop, and theme, or do you find that it helps jump start the creative process?

TRENT: I find it’s very difficult to start a creative endeavor without some constraints. Luckily life tends to give you an endless supply. Not identifying or working within your constraints is why many projects fail. The line of dialogue, prop, and theme are very minor constraints when you compare it to the 48 hour time frame. But I guess that’s half the fun!

Devon, are there any things that you wish you could have done differently if you had more time, or were you able to get exactly what you wanted from the script in the time that you had?

DEVON: Yes. Everything. Always. Haha, but I was definitely satisfied with how it turned out. Most of the things resulted from a lack of time, like always. But everyone worked excruciatingly hard, and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better cast or crew.

What steps did you take prior to the kickoff to prepare for this challenge?

TRENT: We tried to have some story ideas ready, but they all got scrapped fairly quickly. I was actually glad about that. One of the best parts of this competition is the all night script writing. Light from the sunrise making you squint as you try desperately to polish off the script before your cast and crew start showing up… I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DIANE: I had nailed down the bar location and we had the three actors.

I was rather impressed with the number of locations and how seamlessly they flowed together during the film. Aside from the bar, did you have any other locations in mind before the kickoff, or did you find them all within the 48 hours?

DIANE: I was pushing for one or two cool locations at the most, but that just didn’t work within the creative process. So, early Saturday morning we were deciding on the other locations…a total of six in twenty hours of shooting. Killer, but everyone wanted to make this work and make it look great. Our DP, Charles Cartwright did a good job dealing with all the locations and their varied lighting and sound situations.

Diane, I can only imagine how proud you must be of your amazing children and all of their accomplishments; if I were in your shoes, I’m sure I could never get enough of working together as a family. As a producer, do you often steer toward projects that you can involve them in, or is it more of an added perk when you find projects that you can work on together?

DIANE: I convinced them both to do this film project. I love working with them but many times it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes, Devon and I compete against each other in these challenges (it’s a friendly competition). In fact, for the 2011 A3F 72 Hour Musical challenge, we both wrote and directed our own films. His team took first place for Secret Agents and my team took third place for WISH Inc., amongst other awards. That was another fun night for us.

How many projects have you done together (either all three or just two of you)?

DIANE: This was interesting to actually go back and count how many films we had done together. This was the final count: All three of us – 8. And, for just Devon and myself – 4 more.

Do you have any future projects in the pipeline, either together or separately?

DEVON: We’re currently developing and writing a web series that we hope to kickstart in the summer. It’ll be the biggest project we’ve worked on together to date.

DIANE: Together, we want to do a web series later this year. For me individually, I have a feature film script I hope to find funding for, and I currently am working on a short film that someone has entrusted me to write and direct. Last year, I worked with Bret Kalmbach and several others shooting a teaser for a potential future film that we are in the final stages of finishing up and will post online soon. I also have some other client projects underway.

What do you think sets your team apart from other teams that participated in the 48 hour challenge?

DIANE: I always have the ultimate respect for any team that participates in these challenges. It is not easy and it takes a hard working team to stay with it and get it done. I don’t know that we are set apart from other teams. Everything just gels when everyone on the team works towards the same goal…without egos or complaints, all focused at trying to make the best film possible within the time constraints at hand.

On the Set

On the Set of “Afterword”

Written By: Nicki Legge

Most of us have grand dreams when we’re kids about what we want to be when we grow up, but as we get older and learn the ways of the real world, a lot of us lose that childlike belief that we can do anything so we settle for something more practical. There are many things that I like about filmmakers, but the one quality that I absolutely love the most is our ability to hold onto that childlike love for filmmaking and our drive to never stop until our dreams come true. Jump Ship Productions recently participated in both the IFP Breakout Challenge and the Almost Famous Film Festival’s (A3F) 48 hour film challenge, and during both there was one group that caught our eye. LJR Productions put out two delightfully whimsical films that were very obviously made with a lot of love. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Ray, the writer/director and owner of LJR Productions about his experiences.

Jon Ray is a perfect example of a filmmaker who will never give up on his dream; he wanted to be an actor as a kid, and even skipped school to go to an audition for a feature film, but unfortunately there weren’t too many productions in his hometown of Tyler, Texas. He got his start as a filmmaker in 2001, “when (he) shot 3 episodes of a Claymation series called ‘Toby Bear.’” From there, Jon received his first paying gig as “a PA on a Wonder Woman music video,” and he became a working filmmaker (which is a major accomplishment in itself).  Jon gained experience as an “actor, A.D., cameraman, boom pole, script supervisor, special FX, prop maker and of course PA.” From 2007 to 2012, Jon’s film career slowed down. He worked on finishing a degree in Digital Video at UAT and got “caught up in the game of making a living,” putting his family’s needs first.

In Dec. 2012, Jon decided it was time “to walk away from a 12 year career in Information Technology and change career fields to TV/Film,” and now he is able to do what he loves full-time as a freelance Videographer and filmmaker.  So far, Jon has “directed at least 11 shorts films,” not counting ones that were made for film school. He says, “I’m working my way towards Hollywood. One of my ultimate goals is to write and direct a studio film. Afterwards, I’d be happy going back to being an Indie or taking on more studio projects, but at least I want that one shoot in LA.” He is currently under a six month contract doing video work, but after that’s up he plans to “go back to working for my wife’s production company Sysnia Creative, where she is developing a TV show and has years of experience working on other TV shows.”

Jon has participated in six 48 hour film challenges with the IFP, the National, and most recently the A3F. His film Ring of Time was my favorite of all of the honorable mention films (and would have made it to the top 20 if I had been judging). One of the things that I personally found to be impressive about his film was the sheer size of the production that LJR pulled off in just 48 hours. They had a huge cast and what appeared to be several different locations. Jon says, “I signed up for the challenge a week before it began so I didn’t have a lot of prep work. Also, I only had 2 actors who were committed to the project, no location, no story idea and not much in the way of funds… Within the week leading up to that Saturday… we grew to 26 cast/crew members. We obtained access to a very nice mansion in north Scottsdale, thanks entirely to my producer and wife Samantha Ray… My secret was the mansion though in regards to locations. The place was so huge and the property varied so much I was able to stage all my scenes from photos of the place I got the night of the kickoff.”

Jon only knew five of the people involved in his production when the challenge kicked off Friday night, and one of the things he is most proud of was his ability to “take a group of people who have never worked together and forge them into an awesome cast and crew to make great art.” Jon says “It was amazing to see everyone come together to help bring my written word to life within such a short period of time.” What most people don’t understand about filmmaking is that getting your film shot is only half the battle. Postproduction is where a film really comes together, and Jon worked very closely with his wife, who edited the film while he worked on pulling together other information for the entry. He hoped to save time in post by using royalty free music, but he wasn’t satisfied with anything he found “So, being a keyboardist and composer, (he) wrote every bit of music you hear in the film in the final 2 hours before (they) left to turn the film in.”  

It was difficult for Jon to cut down such a grand idea into just 5 minutes. He learned during this challenge that the widely known rule that one page of script equals one minute of screen time does not always work out, and he ended up with about a six and a half minute film. Although he had to cut out one and a half minutes, Jon was able to keep everyone’s scenes, which is something he is very proud of. Jon says, “I feel like we are the underdogs, team wise. No one really knew LJR Productions or me and it was a group of mostly strangers who came together to make a great little film. As this was my most ambitious 48 Hour film project to date, I was hoping it’d at least screen with the top 20, but regardless, the feedback has been great and I’m proud of this film and the work everyone on my team put into it. We had some real professionals on hand that if not for them being there, might have made this a much more difficult interview to answer.” 

Jon is currently working on three documentaries, one of which is about his own struggles to make it to Hollywood. Jon says, “Regardless, what ends up happening to me, I plan to eventually release a documentary showing my ups and downs to hopefully inspire others to reach for their dreams and believe in themselves. It starts with letting go to all the things holding you back and then believing that with skill and effort the journey will take care of you… Never give up and never stop believing.” He is also writing two feature films and plans to start production of one of them later this year. One is “a paranormal thriller… the other bigger budget film is a high fantasy about knights and the Fae realm.” Jon has “started acting as an extra for other productions in order to be a better director, by understanding the process in front of the camera,” and offers his skills as an extra and production designer to interested filmmakers. He can be contacted HERE or through the LJR Productions Facebook Page, and you can see his work and look for cast and crew calls on his website.

ninthFifty-five teams from Arizona, Southern California, and Nevada, participated in this year’s challenge with 47 teams making the deadline. The theme was Something Magical, line of dialogue, “I can’t believe it worked.” and a Ring as the prop where a character had to put on or take off a ring.

Top 20 Public Screening Tickets
The Top 20 Public Screening takes place February 28 at 7p.m. at AMC Arizona Center 24 Theatres in downtown Phoenix. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

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Top 20 Teams (listed alphabetically, these films will screen on Feb. 28th)

Bogdan & Friends
Follow Your Poem Productions
Fortune & Merit Productions
Half of a Half Productions
iDokie Films
Jump Ship Productions
La Linea Productions
Lethal Hobo Productions
Luke Hansen/Ignominious
Midnight Specialist
Mindclover Productions
Myyyyles Productions
N’Raged Media
Running Wild Films
The Collective
The Junk Drawer
ThinkTank Creative
Toast Productions
UAT Hyped

Honorable Mention 10 (plus ties, listed alphabetically, watch these film on Vimeo!)

Art of War Pictures
Blue Harvest Productions
Broken Door Media
Cobra Kai Films
Dark of the MATINEE
Imperio Azteca Productions
LishKohn Productions
LJR Productions
O’Connell Family
Pops Says NO Productions
Seriously Dude Films
Ugly Baby Studios

How It Works?

Teams create a 1-5 minute film in just 2 days or 48 hours. In addition to meeting this challenging deadline, teams must also incorporate this year’s official guidelines (theme, prop and line of dialogue).

Films that meet the guidelines will be reviewed before a panel of judges who will select the Top 20 films for the Public Screening on February 28 at AMC Arizona Center 24 Theatres in downtown Phoenix.


The A3F encourages complete artistic freedom, but do have some rules that pertain to the film challenge.

  • Films must be 1-5 minutes in length including all credits.
  • Teams must own or have rights to their music and permission for all locations.
  • No explicit violence and gun use will be *critiqued.
  • All footage must be shot within the 48 hour time-frame, animators are allowed to pre-build templates.
  • Teams, cast and crew must promise to have fun and become Almost Famous!

Judges Panel
Jason Francois – Lead Judge/Assistant A3F Director.

Bill Pierce – Film Critic. 

Lee Ann Cone –  Script Supervisor

Jay Lee – Filmmaker

Joel Kaye – Cinematographer

Jae Staats – A3F Founder/Director

Jump Ship Productions entered Mr. Wallace The Great. Get your tickets now!

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Mr. Wallace has lost his ability to perform magic and it’s affecting his sales at work. From the team that brought you “TITUS” and “The Face of Innocence”, Mr. Wallace The Great is a light hearted comedy about an average goofball Wizard. This film was made for the Almost Famous Film Festival‘s 48 hour challenge. If selected as one of the top 20 it will premier on February 28th 2013 at AMC Arizona Center 24. Get your tickets HERE!

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Mr. Wallace Credits TrailerCrew:
Director: Nicki Legge
Cinematographer: Mike Rea
Editor: Sean Rasbury
Writter: JP Frydrych
Produced by: Craig MacDonaldJP Frydrych
Original Score By: Nile Popchock
Set Photographer: Jacquelyn Nelson
Makeup and Wardrobe: Devon Garcia

Second Camera & 1st AC: Katelyn Pribula

Props: Devon Garcia and  Jacquelyn Nelson

Behind the Scenes: Robert Garcia and Sean Rasbury

Lighting Technician: Mike Rea
Sound Mixer: Nile Popchock
Boom Operator: Ryan Ammann

Mr Wallace: JP Frydrych HR Rep: Jonathan Levy Maiuri Maverick: Craig MacDonald                                    Boss: Robert Garcia Secretary: Jacquelyn Nelson

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The premier of “The Face of Innocence” will be held at The Phoenix Art Museum, February 7th 2013. Purchase your tickets here!

Until then Jump Ship Productions will be releasing pictures taken by our wonderful set photographer Jacquelyn Nelson. She has picked 19 of her favorite pics from the set and color corrected them for your enjoyment. You will only be able to see these photo’s on our website and on her Facebook page Decorated Photos! Don’t forget to like her page, if you want to comment or like any of the photos below simply click the pic! To contact Jacquelyn Nelson message her through her facebook page or click here.

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Get your tickets for the IFP Breakout Challenge Screening HERE!

The Face of Innocence Postcard 4X6 FrontThis project is especially significant to me because it is my first drama. When we all got together to brainstorm concepts for the Breakout Challenge, I was particularly drawn to this one. I have never had the privilege of working with a story so full of complex emotion, and with such a heavy subject matter, I knew it would truly be a challenge to make it into something beautiful. The Face of Innocence has been Jump Ship’s most ambitious project to date; we had the most locations and biggest crew of any other project that we have done together. I cannot express how lucky I am to have such a talented collection of people in my crew. We managed to make it rain on the coldest night in December, push through a 16 hour day with a broken Dolly and overheating hard drive, and my exceptional AD took the reins and directed the opening scene while I was stuck on the other side of town with a broken-down truck. This project is the perfect example of how you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Together we made a film that we can truly be proud of.

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See our latest film at the Phoenix Art Museum Thursday Feburary 7th. Get your tickets for the IFP Breakout Challenge Screening HERE!
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Director: Robert Garcia
Cinematographer: Robert Garcia
Editor: Robert Garcia & JP Frydrych
The face of innocence Credits PosterWritters: Nicki Legge and JP Frydrych
Produced by: Craig MacDonaldJP Frydrych
Original Score By: Nile Popchock
Set Photographer: Jacquelyn Nelson
Makeup, Wardrobe and Props: Devon Garcia
Behind the Scenes: Craig MacDonald
Lighting Technician: Mike Rea
Sound Mixer: Nile Popchock
Boom Operator: Ryan Ammann

Jacob Szczpynski: JP Frydrych

Detective DeAngelo: Jonathan Levy Maiuri

Cassandra DeAngelo: Desiree Srinivas

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Written By: Nicki Legge

Mike ReaThis past weekend, Jump Ship Productions took on one of our most ambitious films to date for the IFP Breakout Challenge, and with bigger films come bigger crews.  One crew member who especially stood out to me was Mike Rea, our amazing Lighting Technician. No matter how impossible the task seemed, Mike not only gave us exactly what we wanted, but he did it with enthusiasm. He also volunteered to be the Director of Photography for our unit 2 team, and did a stellar job; he is responsible for some of my favorite shots in the film. Mike grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. He moved to the valley in the summer of 2008 to start film school at Collins College, and he’s been making films ever since.  Mike loves everything about film. He says that growing up, “When I had free time, I watched movies, when I was sick, sad, happy, angry, it didn’t matter. Movies have always been there for me.”  He has already been involved in more films than he can count, and doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon.

Mike has always been inspired by his “idol, Trey Parker, Co-creator of South Park,” along with other big names like Bill Murray, Humphrey Bogart, Alfred Hitchcock, and The Coen Brothers. But aside from these Hollywood stars, his biggest inspiration comes from his family. Mike says, “I am a very lucky guy; my parents (certainly including my stepmom) have been unbelievably supportive throughout.  My brother, his fiance, and all 3 of his kids are always asking about my projects and they all keep me going when it gets difficult.” All of the visual aspects of film are what Mike finds to be the most fascinating. He believes that “With lighting, you can create a mood without anyone on screen saying a word. With the right lighting you can make the audience uncomfortable, happy, or even scared.” Although Mike is very passionate about lighting (and this shows in his work), he believes that “camera work is possibly the most important aspect of filmmaking.” He hopes to work his way up to be a Director of Photography, and then finally a writer/director.

Mike in Action

Mike in Action

Mike believes that every project has “its own unique charm.” Because “Every set is different and every crew is different… (he) gets to interact and learn from all different kinds of filmmakers.” This has created an environment where he continues to learn and grow; he has not yet left a set once without learning something valuable. Mike is always up for a challenge because “it keeps him on his toes,” so when our producer, JP Frydrych, invited him to join our crew for the IFP Breakout Challenge, Mike accepted with no hesitation. His favorite part of the challenge was “Meeting new people and reuniting with old colleagues.” And although his least favorite part was being outside and wet on one of Arizona’s coldest nights, he learned that “As a team, we were able to achieve a really cool rain effect” with the proper placing of lights and a garden hose.

Mike loves to keep himself busy. He says “There is always stuff on the horizon, just need to keep your eyes open.” He is willing to work with any production crew, and believes that “No one team is perfect, no one team has all the answers. But if I can get in with several companies and groups, then that’s just more people I can learn from.” Mike is an extremely talented Lighting Technician and DP; he would be a wonderful addition to any crew. If anyone is interested in contacting Mike, contact him here.