The panty lines need to stay out of the shot.
This is the consensus formed on the set of One Day Like This, a short film being made for the Independent Film Coalition of Kansas City's 11th annual One Night Stand competition.
Actress Bobbie Sutcliffe's underwear is showing through her borrowed gray dress, but that's the least of director Tim Harvey's worries. This is his fifth One Night Stand, so he knows that making a five-minute movie in 10 hours is an exercise in staving off large-scale disaster.
For now, he's on schedule, but getting this shot means trying the patience of a Christian band. The musicians have been sitting idle during their usual worship-music practice time so that Harvey and his crew can shoot a wedding scene set in the sanctuary at Revolution Church, at 500 West 40th Street.
One Night Stand's parameters were presented at a 9:30 a.m. meeting in the basement theater of the Westport Coffee House. Each film must be produced entirely during the contest's 10 hours and must include three elements, all drawn at random at the meeting: a theme, an object and a line of classic movie dialogue. This morning — Saturday, June 18 — IFC president Brian Boye announced the required elements to 21 teams, each with five to 10 participants. The theme is "color vs. black-and-white," meaning that each entry has to include shots in both color and black-and-white. Each must also incorporate a pen and the line "You're trying to seduce me, aren't you?" (from The Graduate).
Boye is competing, too. "I hope people like my film," he says. "We should finish."
A DVD from each team is due at 7:38 p.m., exactly 10 hours after the drawing. At Screenland Armour, the finish line, every completed movie will be screened, and awards will be handed out.
The teams scattered as soon as Boye shouted, "Go forth and make a movie!" Harvey's team, the Hellions, already knew its first stop would be Revolution Church.
A couple of weeks before One Night Stand, Boye explains that the event breaches the usual camaraderie within KC's filmmaking community. It's a day for scrappy artists to bond over their mutual love for an expensive, time-consuming passion — but very competitively.
It also provides a break (a short, hardworking break) from the participants' sometimes grueling ongoing projects. For instance, Boye has been trying to secure funding and gather stories for a documentary that he's producing about the final conversations people had with dead or missing family members and friends.
For a project like that, other filmmakers are happy to come to his aid and share ideas. But One Night Stand alters the mood, turning IFC brother against IFC brother in a good-natured civil war.
"Tim and I are really good friends," he says over lunch one afternoon near the KCTV Channel 5 offices, where he works in the promotions department. "I love to beat Tim. Or I love to try to beat Tim. Last year I might have, but my DVD didn't play." A computer glitch scuttled his 2010 entry. "It's a whole Lennon-McCartney thing. My friend made a good movie. I want to beat them."
To accomplish this, Boye isn't opposed to a little sabotage — at least in theory.
"One year we were going to just have an IFC assassin team, where we taped ourselves with hot girl-ninja assassins and just screwed up people's shots. And that was going to be our film," he says. "Maybe someday we'll do that one."
The competition and posturing, Boye admits, can get a little ridiculous. But it's all to further the craft and his and his peers' education.