West Seneca Bee, Thursday Sept. 6, 2007

Local News
  Members of Point Blank Films, shown from left, Candice Lee Olin, Sam Cala, Don Gervasi, Alaina Zyhowski and Hassan Green, work under tight time constraints during the 48 Hour Film Project. They are shown in production of their winning film, "X-Day."  
Photo courtesy of Melanie Sterlace
Resident successful in film competition
  Imagine you are going to make a movie. You have a prop, a line of dialogue, a character and 48 hours to create a short masterpiece. This was the scenario Candice Lee Olin (Sterlace) faced when she took part in the 48 Hour Film Project’s Buffalo competition Aug. 10-12.  
  Olin, of West Seneca, joined representatives from several local media production companies, as well as area actors and a composer to form the Point Blank Films team for the 48-hour contest, which has been held throughout the world for seven years, but was offered in Buffalo for the first time this summer.  
  Olin and her teammates won best film for their production, "X-Day."  
  Olin served as the director for the winning team, which included producer Dave Lesinski of Buffalo from Full Circle Studios, cinematographer Jerry MacKay from LittleFlick Pictures, and lead actor Don Gervasi from the comedy troupe The Eclectic Company.  
  Now a part of production company Bigger Picture Concepts, Olin said she first became interested in film while working for the television station at West Seneca East Senior.  
  "It really made me happy and sparked my creative juices," she said of her time spent directing and editing at East.  
  After attending film school in Florida, Olin moved back to Western New York last fall. She had participated in a 36-hour film competition in Florida and was considering organizing a two-day contest for local filmmakers. When Olin learned the 48 Hour Film Project was coming to Buffalo, she immediately put together a team. The members of Point Blank Films had previously worked together on various projects, according to Olin.  
  "In 48 hours, losing time is not something you can do," she said. "The most important tool to win is to put together a team you know works well together. Forty-eight hours is not the time to figure out you don't work well together."  
  The contest began at 7 p.m. on Friday and ended at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Each of the 19 teams competing drew a genre from a hat. Olin's team selected "holiday film." Their movie had to be between four and seven minutes long, and had to include a teaching prop; the line, "If I want your opinion, I'll ask for it"; a landmark of their choosing; and an inventor named Susie or Steven Simon.  
  After discussing ideas, Olin said the teammates wrote until about 5 a.m. Saturday. From there they began shooting at various locations throughout the city, including Shea's, Alleyway Theatre and several office buildings and homes.  
  "X-Day" centers around Steve Simon, who is trying to invent a new holiday to increase profits for a greeting card corporation down on sales. The holiday, "X-Day", is created as a result of a misunderstanding. To say more about the plot would spoil its ending, but the film can be viewed on youtube.com. Other winners can be seen at www.48.tv.  
  "Everything had a really good flow to it," Olin said. "The biggest problem of course is time."  
  When the team concluded its production, Olin caught up on some of the sleep she had sacrificed over the past 48 hours.  
  "I just sort of passed out on the studio floor," she recalled. "I slept for two hours before I could drive anywhere."  
  Screenings of the entries were held Aug. 15 and 16 at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center.  
  "It was awesome to just sit back as people were watching your film," Olin said of the screening. "There was a point when the whole audience was laughing. It was incredibly gratifying, especially as a young director and a woman director at that."  
  Last week, Olin and her teammates learned "X-Day" won best film, as well as the audience appreciation award. "X-Day" will advance to the international level of the 48 Hour Film Project this fall to compete against the winners from other cities across the United States and Canada.  
  Olin, who is currently working on an African documentary called "Character" with BPC Productions, said her goal is to bring meaning back to film. She hopes to eventually start a television network.  
Watch "X-Day" on the web at FilmClick.com.