Over the course of the last few years our Tampa production company has enjoyed participating in the 48 Hour Film Project, a world-wide competition that challenges filmmakers to write, shoot, and edit their own short films in only 48 hours. It’s become a bit of a tradition for the Litewave Media crew and we’ve met some amazing people along the way. This year, our team once again dove head first into the challenge and produced a short film called “Magazine Issues.”
DP Eric Coughlin gets set up for one of the first shots of the day filming our short “Magazine Issues”
The 48 Hour competition supplies only minimal guidelines for filmmakers, providing a genre, character, prop, and a line of dialogue that must be used in every film. Each team receives their guidelines on Friday night and must turn in their fully finished film Sunday night, only 48 hours later. Our team pulled the genre of “romance,” and writers Jason Henne and Michael Garland went to work forming a cinematic story that also captured the essence of romance. With our writers working through the night on the the script, our Florida video production crew began preparing to film at dawn’s first light.
Next, we loaded up our Tampa grip truck and drove to our first location in Clearwater, Florida to begin filming. Using gear from our St Petersburg video equipment rental package like our Canon C300 MkII and Canon cinema lenses, we hit the ground running (literally) and began production! Filming took place at various locations all over Tampa Bay, including our very own Tampa green screen studio for multiple special effects-driven scenes and a wrestling ring almost an hour from the studio.
Award-winning actress Alissa Schneider plays the melodious sounds of the key-tar in our Tampa green screen studio.
With the clock ticking down, we rushed all of our footage back to our Florida post-production suite for editing. Once our special effects team hustled to compose the visuals needed for the green screen portion of the film, director and editor Christian Cashmir brought the film together with his skill and expertise, cuttin’ up footage and taking names! With the editing finished on literally zero sleep (not even a wink!), finally it was time for submitting the finished film.
Director Christian Cashmir, steadicam operator Eric Coughlin, and lead actor Chris Cavalier review footage before sending it off to our Florida post-production suite for editing.
After waiting for what seemed like the longest 2 weeks ever, it was time for the 48 Hour Film Project ‘Best Of’ screening! With so many great films to compete against, the awards ceremony was a nail biter, but all of our hard work paid off! Our team was nominated in 9 categories and were honored to win the following awards:
Best use of the line “You’re Next!” – Team Prairie Dogs featuring Uncle Henry’s Bowling Club (Us!!)
Audience Favorite – “Magazine Issues” Team Prairie Dogs featuring Uncle Henry’s Bowling Club (Us again!!)
Best Screenplay – Jason Henne and Michael Garland (Our devilishly handsome writers)
Best Supporting Actress – Alissa Schneider (Our drop dead gorgeous actress)
Best Song – “Salesperson of the Year” Music and Lyrics by Chuck Fonshell Jr, Christian Cashmir, and Chris Cavalier (Our extraordinarily talented musicians)
And, drumroll please… BEST FILM!!! – “Magazine Issues” Directed by Christian Cashmir (Our fearless director)
We won Best Film out of 34 competitors! Ignite the fireworks! Wookie yell! Rejoice!
Now that our film “Magazine Issues” has won Best Film – Tampa, we move on to the next round where we’ll compete against the winners from over 100 cities worldwide at Film-a-Palooza in Seattle, Washington next March!
As with every year, we had an amazing time working on the 48 Hour Film Project, and we look forward to competing again next year. Check out our finished film “Magazine Issues” below (Made in just 48 hours)!
The Litewave Media team celebrates after the 48 Hour Awards Screening
The one take! The scene in Goodfellas when Ray Liotta’s character walks into the club and the whole the camera never cuts… Or the opening scene in Touch of Evil? And most recently the Oscar-Winning Birdman – an entire movie filmed in a one-take style. Our Tampa video production company was excited to produce a film using the same technique for the 2016 Single-Take Challenge, with our short, Kiss Tape!
The cast and crew of “Kiss Tape” after a great night of filming.
The Single-Take Film Challenge, sponsored by ManaSota Films, challenges filmmakers to create a new and original short film. The catch is, there can be absolutely no cuts, meaning the entire film has to be one long take! To pull it off, writers Christian Cashmir and Eric Coughlin began planning a month in advance at our Florida video production studio so that every tiny detail would be ready on the day of filming.
Co-DP and Steadicam operator Eric Coughlin rehearses blocking with the talent Lexi and Chris
We gathered a cast of over 20 extremely talented actors and a crew to match in order to pull off one of the most fun and challenging films we’ve ever made: a one-shot film that weaves in and out of our video studio during an elaborate movie being made. That’s right, it’s a movie within a movie!
Our crew took about 8 takes to get the film completed. We tweaked the timing as we progressed through the night. Almost every take was usable, but the very last take was the one we used. Even though we had over 20 actors they never missed a line!
For the shoot, Christian Cashmir and Eric Coughlin directed and Co-DP’d, bringing both their skill and expertise to the project. For the shoot the Litewave Media team brought gear from our Tampa video equipment rental packages, filming on a Canon C300 MkII with the Canon 15.5-47 Cinema zoom lens. Because it was a film within a film, our St Petersburg video production crew were able to “hide” by pretending to be actors crewing the behind-the-scenes film, but actually acting as crew on the real film. It was film crew Inception: crew within crew within crew!
Director Christian Cashmir gives the cast final notes before filming the first take of “Kiss Tape” while actor Chuck preps the pooch.
Once we finished principal photography, it was time to head back to our Tampa post production studio, where Christian Cashmir mixed sound and colored the film, bringing it to it’s final form so it could be submitted to the competition. It was accepted a week later and…..
Just last week, our film Kiss Tape premiered at the 2016 Single-Take Challenge in beautiful Sarasota, where it competed against many other excellent filmmakers from all around the country. There, we took home two awards, including Best Film and Most Entertaining Film! Congratulations to all of our extraordinarily talented cast and crew for helping bring Kiss Tape to life!
Our Tampa video production company took home the Best Film and Most Entertaining awards!
A few weeks back, our Tampa video production company had the chance to write, shoot, and edit a Star Wars fan film for the official competition sponsored by Lucasfilm and Disney! The challenge, put on yearly, encourages filmmakers to write, produce, and edit their very own fan film set in the Star Wars universe. There are various categories in which filmmakers can garner recognition: best visual effects, filmmaker select, audience choice, and more. When our Tampa video production company heard about the competition, we just had to throw our lightsabers into the mix!
Our Tampa film crew getting a low angle shot of young actress Lennon Brock (just 5 years old!).
We started out with an idea from Litewave Media founder Christian Cashmir and developed it into a short story with the help of writers Mike Garland, Mario Graniello and Steffen Thiel. We wrote in a bit of mystery, intrigue, sprinkled in some tragedy, and of course an epic lightsaber battle (what Star Wars fan film is complete without one?)!
An professional team of stunt choreographers and performers helped to plan out the intricate battle scenes. After a few days of choreographing in detail, our Tampa video production crew were ready to capture our fight scenes on film.
Director Christian Cashmir, actress Mary McDonnell, and camera operator Jake Jalbert review footage on the set of our Star Wars fan film. (Photo: Courtesy of Anthony and Estelle Brock)
With scripts in hand, prosthetics and makeup on, and fight choreography fresh in our minds, the Litewave Media team drove our Tampa grip truck to our first location in Dead River, part of the Hillsborough Wilderness Reserve. Using our Tampa video equipment rental package, our fearless crew hauled gear through the dense woods to our filming location. Miles out, in the middle of a swamp, not unlike Dagobah, our crew setup camp for the first day of principle photography.
Working alongside park rangers, our Tampa independent film production went off without a hitch. Working around the clock, we were able to successfully film all scenes and finish the production on time despite the many challenges presented by the location.
Steffen Thiel, in his (potentially award-winning?) American film debut, as Stormtrooper TH-137.
Director Christian Cashmir and Cinematographer Eric Coughlin worked together using gear from our Tampa video equipment rental package including the Canon C300, and C300 mkII, SteadiCam, MoVi M5 with Sony A7s mkII, and plenty of lighting to give the film a cinematic look. We even brought out our portable generator to the forrest so we didn’t have to stop at Tosche Station to pick up more power converters!
Actor/Stuntmen M. Joshua Todd and TJ McDonnell ready themselves for battle during our Star Wars fan film shoot. (Photo: Courtesy of Anthony and Estelle Brock)
After a successful shoot, it was time to head back to our Tampa post production suites to start the editing process. We had a ton of excellent footage, but we needed to add in lightsaber effects and, of course, the epic sound design and music that makes every Star Wars film so unique. We utilized our Tampa recording studio to record ADR for the main characters, replacing their dialogue with studio quality recordings of their voices – much like the original Star Wars did.
Next, we reached out to our friend Angelo from Panetta Studios to partner with us on the sound design for the film; He and his team created soundscapes, brought the lightsaber battles to life, and transformed the swamp into a character in its own right. They gave our antagonist a unique voice effect as well! Our editors and visual effects team put in a few sleepless nights to make the deadline, and with the hard work of our dedicated team, our film was ready to compete!
Our editing and special effects teams work to finish our Star Wars fan film.
Finally, we submitted our completed film to LucasFilm and Disney for the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, and it was time to celebrate! aarrragghuuhw! That was Wookie for “Partaaaaay!”(seriously, we looked it up). We had the whole team over for a cast/crew screening of the finished film, which we projected on the large white cyc in our Tampa video production studio. What a blast!
Two young padawans (Zack with actress, Lennon) practice lightsaber skills during the cast/crew screening of our Star Wars fan film.
Over the last few weeks, our Tampa video production company has been busy shooting new TV shows for Netflix and Discovery Channel as well as TV commercials and Florida corporate videos right here in our own Tampa video production studio. We’ve also had the opportunity to work on an independent feature film with some pretty amazing actors.
Our Florida video production crew recently worked with the one and only Burt Reynolds! We were able to operate a teleprompter for Mr. Reynolds for his entire time on the production. “It was a great opportunity to work with Mr. Reynolds. I used to watch his movies, and now we are filming together”, says Litewave Media crew member Steffen Thiel.
Our Tampa video production crew member Mike Garland with acting legend Burt Reynolds.
On another recent project, we were happy to welcome the team from the Special Operations Warrior Foundation(SOWF) to our Tampa video studio. SOWF is an excellent group dedicated to supporting the families of wounded and fallen Special Ops Heroes. “The foundation is great! They help these families both financially and spiritually to get them back on their feet. They’re just an incredible team of caring people who know what it’s like to lose a family member like that and want to help in any way they can,” says our own Tampa video crew member and Air Force veteran Mike Garland. Litewave Media founder, Christian Cashmir was on set for the TV commercial as 1st camera assistant as well as Andrew Ortoski who gaffed the shoot. Litewave Media’s own Johanne Castagan, Rich Brito, and Steffen Thiel also worked on the shoot. Look out for it on ESPN where it will air nationwide!
5 Hour Energy’s TV commercial production filming at Litewave Media’s Tampa video production studio.
Check out the commercial below:
Our Tampa video production team also had the great opportunity to work on a new Netflix series called “Captive” which will be airing this summer. Director of photography Christian Cashmir operated our MoVi M5 camera gimbal for the show with our Sony A7s II on-board shooting in 4k!
On the new Netflix show “Captive,” Litewave Media’s Christian Cashmir operates our MoVi M5 camera gimbal with Sony A7s II
Our next shoot brought us down to beautiful Anna Maria Island. Litewave Media’s Tampa video equipment rental and Tampa grip truck packages were on hand for this national TV show for Discovery Channel. Christian Cashmir served as director of photography on the show “Stranger Than Florida”, while Sasha Sebesta and Steffen Thiel worked as grips. The Litewave Media camera crew provided lighting, video, and audio gear for the high-end broadcast production of this national TV show.
Our Tampa video production company shooting an interview for the Discovery Channel show “Stranger Than Florida”.
Quite a few of the projects we film go to LA, New York, or elsewhere for editing and finishing, but many stay right here in St. Petersburg, Florida to work at our full service post-production facility, Litewave Studios. Our Tampa post-production suites feature state-of-the-art equipment, voice over booth, and modern editing programs to service large scale productions.
It’s been a busy few weeks at our Tampa video production company, but that’s just the way we like it!
If you haven’t seen the movie check out the trailer below!
Two years ago our Tampa video production company started production on the steampunk action-adventure short film The Skyship Chronicles. The film is set in Ireland, 1895 and follows the story of Molly Madigan in her quest to recover her grandfather’s stolen invention, the Potestatum, an all-powerful energy source. Our Tampa video crew filmed the movie in and around the Tampa Bay Area, as well as at our Tampa video production studio. After months of editing and work on visual effects, created by our Tampa post-production company, The Skyship Chronicles (Part One) was finally ready for the festival circuit.
The Skyship Chronicles cast and crew on the red carpet at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival
The Skyship Chronicles (Part One) premiered at the Gasparilla Film Festival in Tampa, FL where it won “Audience Choice Best Short Film” and has been screened in several other Film Festivals around the country, including the Sunscreen Festival in St Petersburg, the Artemis Film Festival in Los Angeles, Geekfest in New Jersey, and many more. The steampunk short film is scheduled to screen in more upcoming festivals throughout the year.
Jeff Zampino(producer), Christian Cashmir (director), and Ed Olsen (actor/Gustav) at the Gasparilla International Film Festival
The Skyship Chronicles (Part One) has been honored with different awards from a variety of festivals. Check out a list of awards The Skyship Chronicles (Part One) has received from the festival circuit:
Gasparilla Film Festival
Audience Choice Best Short Film
Innovative Film Festival
Best Web Series – Grand Jury
Best Cinematography (Short Film)
Best Web Series – Grand Jury
Tampa Bay Underground Film festival
Audience Choice Best Short Film
Christian (director) and Jeff (producer) celebrate in the studio after winning Audience Choice Best Short Film from the Gasparilla Film Festival
The Skyship Chronicles (Part One) has also been selected to screen in several conventions. It is currently screening at the GeekFest convention. This convention travels around the country screening genre movies in a number of different states. The film recently screened in Atlantic City, NJ and it is scheduled to screen 15 more times around the country with GeekFest. It was also screened at one of the largest conventions in the country, MegaCon in Orlando. After the screening, the convention held a panel for the movie where fans interacted with our team including: director, Christian Schwier, costume designer, Bridget Bartley Desjarlais and actor, Josh Todd.
Litewave Media cast and crew at The Skyship Chronicles MegaCon Panel
Besides being part of the festival circuit, a number of steampunk magazines such as Clockwork Magazine have written articles about The Skyship Chronicles (Part One). Our Florida video production company is extremely proud of our video production crew and cast and our achievements with The Skyship Chronicles (Part One). We have plans for the next episodes and can’t wait to continue telling the story of this swashbuckling web-series.
The Skyship Chronicles cast and crew on the red carpet at the Sunscreen Film Festival