While it's always been extremely satisfying for me to see my own name in print, right there on the front page of the newspaper, there's something to be said for seeing your moniker rolling through the credits on the silver screen.

While it's always been extremely satisfying for me to see my own name in print, right there on the front page of the newspaper, there's something to be said for seeing your moniker rolling through the credits on the silver screen.

Along with a few other ThisWeek staffers, I was able to do that last weekend.

ThisWeek reporters Chris Bournea, Chris Alexis, David J. Cross and me, along with several other cast and crew members (aptly named The News Boys), threw our names into the hat for last weekend's 48 Hour Film Project, its first appearance here in Columbus. The task was daunting -- have a film conceptualized, written, storyboarded, filmed, edited and turned in to the contest's organizers in two short days.

While our little crew has shot a couple short films over the years, we had never tackled a project with such a short time frame.

To keep all the crews honest (nothing could be shot prior to the official weekend), at the beginning of the weekend we were given a character name (Lucas Bailey, promotional products sales rep) a film genre (holiday film), a line of dialogue that had to be incorporated ("Can you lend me some money?") and, of course, a prop.

Quite a few grocers may have scratched their heads at all the young film-makers flooding into their produce sections on Aug. 15: The prop was a head of lettuce.

We were given these elements at 7:30 p.m. Friday by project organizer K.C. Allen, and by 8 a.m. the next day, we had a script, actors, a location in which to film and all the equipment we needed. I'm not sure about the rest of the crew, but at that point, I had netted a total of two hours' sleep. It was time to get to work.

Aside from some minor technical problems, I was amazed at how smoothly shooting went on Saturday. Our actors were great, we captured all the shots we needed ahead of schedule to tell our five-minute story about a young lady valiantly trying to separate her football-crazy boyfriend and brother, and no one suffered a single scratch in the several stunts we filmed.

With 24 hours remaining, we were down to the editing process. After dropping off the camera and footage at our editor's house Saturday evening, I shambled back to my apartment and was asleep before my face hit the pillow. I haven't slept that well since the Reagan administration.

Our editor, John, and I finished our edit in the early afternoon on Sunday, only to discover that the file on his computer containing the finished film was much too large to transport back to the Landmark Gateway Theater on High Street, our final destination for the project.

Instead, we had to render the whole thing over again (think sitting on an overstuffed suitcase so it will latch), which can take anywhere from a few moments to several hours.

It was the latter. Our crew sat in the living room, staring at the clock as the minutes counted down, quickly approaching our deadline of 7:30 p.m. Let's just say I was not very happy.

After the clock reached 7:20 and we had all basically given up hope, John shouted from his office -- it was finished! I flew to the parking lot to fire up my pickup, Chris B. grabbed the burned disc containing our weekend's work and I did my best to get us from Kenny Road to the Gateway Theatre in 10 minutes. I might not have obeyed all of Columbus' wonderful traffic laws, but soon we were pulling up beside the theater. Chris jumped from my truck as I slowed, and sprinted up the steps to the theater. I looked at my watch: 7:31.

As I was dejectedly parking my truck, I got a call from Chris. We had made it in, with literally seconds to spare! Apparently, my watch was a few minutes fast, and he had delivered our film just as the officials were making the final countdown. We were in.

The payoff came the following Wednesday when we gathered back at the theater with all the other crews for a late-night screening of the project's entries. A packed house cheered and laughed on each crew's entry, and we got to see one of our projects actually being projected on a real theater screen.

With this project completed and under our collective belt, I imagine the News Boys will be ready for next year's competition. As long as we've caught up on our sleep by then, that is.

Lin Rice is a staff writer for ThisWeek.

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