Westminster Alum Wins Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Festival

Monday, September 9, 2013

Audio Visual Services congratulates Westminster alum and former AV employee Ted Haynes ('99) and his crew on winning the Best Actor, Best Director, and Best of Pittsburgh awards in the 48 Hour Film Festival for their short film The Last Straw. The team, consisted of Michael Smith, Co-Founder of Confluence Productions, Suzie McGugin, Ted's wife and Marketing Director, Justin Crimone, and Travis Escamilla. Ted took time out from his current project to tell us just a bit about the amazing experience.
AV: How did you feel when it was announced that you won all of these awards?
Ted: Speechless, for the first time ever in my life. I was very happy when Bobby Thomas was announced as best actor. He's part of our film family and a real pro and more than deserves it. The same could be said about our entire cast. I was incredibly humbled by the Best Director award. That's a direct result of having an amazing cast and crew and I felt a little awkward accepting it alone. When they announced best of city? Floored. I was actually a little disappointed that we hadn't won second place, only to find out we'd won it all.  
AV: Congratulations! It truly sounds like you had an amazing experience. So what about the actual process?  In what ways is it harder to film something in 48 hours as opposed to a longer time frame?
Ted: Every way! While you're talking about a seven minute film, teams must conceptualize, shoot, and edit a film in a weekend. The preproduction process alone can take weeks or months for a typical short film. You truly have to have a good workflow and understanding of the people you work with to have a shot at completing a film. The people who compete in this event are true warriors.
AV: Even with the time crunch, can it be easier in some ways?
Ted: The 48 allows you to be a little more free - if you can wrap your mind around it. In years past I've kind of forced Michael and the team into approaching the event like a regular production. This year our mantra was keep it simple. If a decision needed made the simplest solution always won. It allowed us to stay focused on creating a solid, clean film. It was incredibly freeing and I think it showed in the results.
AV: How did your education at Westminster help you to get into the film business?
Ted: I'd love to say that there were specific classes that developed my skill set. While I will forever be greatful to the Bergey's and Scheid's and Sharkey's it was the culture of Westminster that was most formative.
AV: How has working at AV helped you with your career?
Ted: Working in AV, and with Gary Swanson specifically, helped instill a sense of order to my usual chaos. Giving me the opportunity to make responsible work choices within a necessary discipline and structure were invaluable to my professional development.  

For more information about Ted Haynes and his team, see the Confluence Productions website or contact Audio Visual Services at avstaff@westminster.edu or (724) 946-7188.

Written by Emily Moorhead, AV Public Relations Manager.

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Smith, Crimone, and Haynes minutes after their win.

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On the set for "The Last Straw."