Who Is That Handsome Fellow?

(Re-posted from The Reminder)

by Chris Maza

May 28, 2012

If you had only 48 hours to make an award-winning movie, could you do it?

Dan Quiterio thinks he has what it takes.

The Ludlow native now located in the Big Apple is taking part in an international filmmaking contest called the 48 Hour Film Project taking place in New York City from June 1 to 3.

The objective of the contest is for a team to create a short film from start to finish in two days’ time. Teams randomly pick a genre and must create a four- to seven-minute film using the same common character, line of dialogue, and prop given to all contestants in a certain city.

Once they have those elements, they must devise a story, write a script, shoot the film, edit it, and submit the final product before the clock runs out. The winning films are screened in a theater and go on to well-known film festivals, such as the Cannes International Film Festival in France.

“It’s kind of like one of those cooking shows on TV in which chefs are given some random ingredients and have to turn them into a gourmet meal in 30 minutes,” Quiterio said. “The only real planning we’re allowed to do in advance is securing potential locations, actors, crew, and equipment. Of course, we won’t know what our needs will be until we have some vital questions answered once the competition begins, so you really have to be flexible.”

Quiterio will be working as one of two writers on a team called The Rude Party on the project, something he said he’s very excited about.

“I’m working with a dynamic team of individuals, including people whose previous films have screened at Cannes and Berlin, two of the top film festivals in the world — some of whom have participated in the 48 Hour Film Project before,” he said.

The 48 Hour Film Project will be a particularly interesting and challenging experiment for him and his writing style, Quiterio admitted.

“Usually I put a great amount of thought into my writing, so for me, one of the biggest challenges will be having to write a complete, succinct script with a strong narrative in a very finite amount of time,” he said.

For Quiterio, film over time has turned from a fleeting interest to one he has become totally engrossed.

After spending a year serving as the AmeriCorps Vista at Holyoke Community College, Quiterio went on to study advertising at the University of Texas, where he got his feet wet with an introductory film course.

From there, the interest was sparked and taking lessons on screenplay formatting, character and plot development from the class, he began studying film on his own.

“Beyond that one class, my film education is primarily self-taught — reading books and magazines, engaging former film students and industry professionals in conversation, and, of course, watching lots of movies,” he said.

Now working for a large advertising firm in New York, Quiterio still makes time to be involved in film.

“I became involved with online magazine, Limitemagazine.com, as its film editor, which provides a great opportunity for my staff and me to attend press screenings, festivals, and press conferences, and interview filmmakers. We identify some of the medium’s trendsetters, as well as actors and filmmakers who are on the rise,” he said. “I’ve also served on the screening committees of a few New York-based festivals and worked with a credited producer by developing a treatment for a proposed feature film.”

In addition to this work, Quiterio has been involved with the creation of several films, first getting the opportunity when he was laid off from a marketing firm in 2008.

“Before, I just watched a lot of movies, but during my unemployment I met several people in New York who are involved in the industry and I became involved in film festivals and conferences as a volunteer, doing a lot of networking,” he said. “I also wrote some short films and had a couple of them produced. One of them, ‘Shear Pratique,’ was accepted in film festivals internationally and in the U.S., such as the 2010 CinéGlobe Film Festival in Switzerland and the 2011 NewFilmmakers New York.

“My collaborators and I always try to produce quality movies, using professional actors and crew, whenever possible. The goal is to make each film not look like it was made in 48 hours, which is ironic,” he added.

Currently, in addition to the 48 Hour Film Project, Quiterio is in preproduction for another short film focusing on homelessness, which he will be writing about on his film blog, www.the170.com. He is also looking forward to writing a feature-length screenplay.

In order to produce the film for the 48 Hour Film Project, Quiterio and his team are looking for monetary support. Those interested in helping may do so by visiting http://therudeparty.chipin.com/the-rude-party-48-hour-film prior to June 1.

“Films aren’t cheap to make, not even short films,” Quiterio explained. “One of the rules for this project is that no one involved is allowed to be paid, so we’re looking for funds to help with purchasing props, transporting equipment, feeding cast and crew, and any number of other things.”

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