24 Hour Video Race Countdown: The 4th Best Video of the Decade

Continuing with our look back at the 24 Hour Video Race‘s first decade, here is the fourth best video as chosen by the race’s organizers: Project Mayhem III’s “Lick It N Stick It” (2005). And after the jump, team members Doug Bryan and Russ Johnson talk about the  experience: entering for “gold,” basing their short around an idea to spoof the race’s sponsor, and the excesses of filmmaking.

To view all the videos in the countdown, go here.

FrontRow: Where are you now? Is filmmaker still part of your life?

Doug Bryan: I own Post:Op a full service post production studio in the Quadrangle (www.post-op.com). I still edit and write music full time and recently our team at Post:Op has been developing a production arm. In fact we’ve just finished the first two episodes of a web series about creative people called “Fabcon.”

Russ Johnson: I work for Abernethy Media Professionals, the production company owned by two of my collaborators in the winning film, Amy Lou and Sandy Abernethy. So, in some ways, I guess “Lick It N Stick It” was kind of like an audition for future employment.

FR: How did the idea for your movie emerge during the 24 hours you spent making it?

Doug Bryan: Someone had the idea of writing a song early on so things kind of sprung from that as I recall. But I must admit it’s a bit of a blur. It’s been six years and those 24 hours were so fun and intense it is hard to recall the details!

Russ Johnson: I think one of the sponsors of the event that year was Quick, that freebie news insert. And we all kind of tickled ourselves thinking it would be funny to take the piss out of the sponsor, so we decided first and foremost that we wanted to torpedo Quick. Several beers into the process came the idea of the singing envelope, and it all got kind of surreal from there.

FR: What was the most frustrating part about filmmaking under the race’s conditions? What were the most freeing aspects?

Doug Bryan: By far the most frustrating thing for me was running out of time during editorial. We are all creative people and great ideas kept coming, but the clock kept ticking. The most freeing aspect was that you must make decisions quickly and not linger on them. There is no time to over think something which forces you to go with your first instinct.

Russ Johnson: I think the conditions were more freeing than frustrating.  It’s easy to psych yourself out or obsess about minutia when you have a lot of time to work on a project.  Nothing focuses the mind like a rapidly approaching deadline.

FR: Why did you originally enter the race – how did you put together your team?

Doug Bryan: We had done the race the year before and come in second place. We wanted to see if we could go for the gold (which we did). But more importantly, we were all good friends and wanted to have some good old fashioned fun! (which we did).

Russ Johnson: Our team, Project Mayhem, had won third place two years previous and second place the year before. We put the band back together one more time to go for the gold.
FR: Looking back at your movie, do you have any reaction to it/thoughts/things you would do differently?

Doug Bryan: I haven’t seen it in years until yesterday, and I must say I’m very proud of what we did in 24 hours. There are always going to be little things you wish you would have had time to polish, but overall I don’t have any regrets. In fact, I can’t believe we did all of that in 24 hours.

Russ Johnson: To be honest, I haven’t seen it in years.  For me, once a project is finished, I kind of like to just move on to the next one.

FR: Has the race had any lasting impact on how you view movies/moviemaking?

Doug Bryan: It actually goes beyond moviemaking. The 24 Video Race is a lesson in teamwork and the extraordinary power it holds. Everybody on the team has to pull their weight and wear many hats. Everyone is equally important. I think anyone remotely interested in film making should do the race at least once.

Russ Johnson: I think the filmmaking process is often corrupted by excess.  Sometimes making a movie with all the money, time, and toys in the world is a recipe for mediocrity, because heaping on all of those things just increases the fear of failure. I prefer lean and hungry productions that aren’t afraid to swing for the bleachers and miss. Then you just start another one.

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