Freshman thespian Rachel Zwiebel decided to try an acting class for fun in her spare time. In no time at all, she’s found herself involved in various dramatic projects, including small independent films. Her most recent involvement has been with the 48 Hour Film Festival, an international competition where participants are given a 2-day span to write, film, and edit a movie. Zwiebel appeared as a superhero in the film Hero Today, Gone Tomorrow.
HEC: How did you get involved in the 48 Hour Film Festival?
I met the producer of the film I worked on, Brad Braufman, on the set of a film project. I agreed to help out with whatever was needed for the 48 Hour Film Project, either as crew or acting. I was the team representative who went to the kickoff meeting to find out the required prop, line of dialogue, and character, and to draw a genre out of a hat for our team. Immediately after that, I called Brad and told him and the team over the phone the required elements, and then I headed over to Brad’s house, intending to help on crew, and to act if needed. When the script was developed, there was a role that I had the option of playing, the sidekick to Captain Liftoff, a superhero, and the film’s main character.
HEC: What are some of the things you learned by taking part?
I learned that it is possible for strangers to come together to form a group and actually accomplish something great. I had met a few people on the team before, but most of them I met Friday night. We all got along well and worked together to end the weekend with a finished product that everyone was proud of.
HEC: What did you enjoy about the experience?
It was great to meet new people. Also, all the ideas that people came up with while brainstorming were great. It’s interesting to look back at the weekend and see how certain ideas evolved, and others were set aside.
HEC: Any parts you disliked about the project?
I disliked the minimal amount of sleep. Another thing that I disliked was that we had to scrap a lot of good ideas because we wouldn’t have had the time to film them or it would be too difficult to get the shots, from a technical standpoint. But I think everyone was happy of what we created in the end!
HEC: Most memorable experience of working on the project?
The first idea that the writing team came up with involved several more characters than we ended up having in the final script. I was still the sidekick in the original script, so when our costume/make-up person showed up Saturday morning, I put on the green superhero outfit she brought. When I went into the other room where the writers were, I learned that the entire idea had been scrapped and they were thinking of a new story. At that point I wasn’t sure if there would be a part for me after all. But I stayed in the costume all day, and the new script had a sidekick role for me. Being in the costume definitely got me in the mood for my part…it was a lot of fun and memorable. Then, the screening at Kendall Square Cinema was kind of strange, in a good way, to see myself on the big screen! And I enjoyed seeing the work all the other teams did. There were some great films, and it just felt like a supportive environment in which everyone could appreciate others’ work and take pride in their own.