Evan Taylor ’12 & Russell Heeter ’11 Win 48 Hour Film Honors

Posted on July 25th, 2011 by

Film Director/Producer Evan Taylor '12 On Location, Photography by Russell Heeter

Film Director/Producer Evan Taylor '12 On Location, Photography by Russell Heeter

For Evan Taylor ’12 and Russell Heeter ’11, all that was needed was “a character, a plot, a line of dialogue, a genre” and two days to write, set, costume, film, edit and produce a video that earned the Best Student Director award and a nomination for Best Musical Score at this year’s 48-Hour Film Project in Minneapolis. Along with lead actors Heather Pallas ’12 and Alexander Carpenter ’12, Taylor and Heeter produced “The Florist,” an 8-minute film and took home the hardware following the June 23 ceremony at The Riverside Theatre in Minneapolis.

All scriptwriting, filming, editing, and producing of “The Florist” took place during the 48-hour time period after the team received its unique set of “required elements.” These requirements included 1) a Film de Femme genre, 2) a character, Les or Lena, who was a driving instructor, 3) a magnet as a prop and 4) the dialogue line, “Tell me about it.”

48 hours later, production was complete and “The Florist” had earned the Best Student Director award and a nomination for Best Musical Score in the Minneapolis festival with Evan Taylor of Mankato as producer/director and Russell Heeter of Maple Plain as assistant producer/director and camera operator.

Taylor, with majors in both studio art and biology, has been making films since his elementary days in Mankato. By the sixth grade in the popularity of the Jurassic Park films, he had created and filmed a trilogy of films titled The Raptor. He continued the work through high school and has been participating in the 48 Hour Film Project since 2005 with brother Ryan Taylor ’05. He plans to continue producing films “outside of competition as it allows him a limitless source for creativity and imagination.”

Heeter, who graduated in May with a major in management, has a similar background in film, strengthened during his study abroad opportunity at the Florence University of the Arts. Although this was Russell’s first time participating in the 48 Hour Project, he plans to continue working on films, along with his work at LifeTouch Media Productions and video work for WCCO/Channel 4 (“Life to the Max”), commercials and his own company, RCH-Productions, specializing in wedding photography and videography.

Both Taylor and Heeter credit the mentorship of associate professor of art Prisicilla Briggs in their growth as filmmakers and their decision to be a part of the project. Taylor credits Briggs with providing him with the motivation to continue making films and the confidence to be a professional filmmaker, director and producer. As Heeter wrote, Professor Briggs provided support “even when I didn’t think my work was good enough. She is very good at helping you create meaning.”

Since 2001, the 48 Hour Film Project has been pushing filmmakers through its annual festival competition to advance the skills of young filmmakers around the world. With the deadline looming, the emphasis is on producing a film rather than sitting and talking about it. Over 100 cities world-wide participated in the festival in June which the official website describes as “a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie – write, shoot, edit and score it – in just 48 hours.” In 2010 nearly 40,000 filmmakers spent that “sleepless weekend” making 3,000 films in 80 cities on five continents.

Evan Taylor and Russell Heeter’s award-winning video “The Florist” can be viewed online at http://vimeo.com/25741143


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