NIGHT SHIFT (2015)

A late night work crew makes a grim discovery at the end of their shift, turning what seems like a workplace hazard into a struggle for survival

This film was made in less than 48 hours for the San Diego 48 Hour Film Project 2015

The cast of Night Shift takes a quick break from character for a group shot. (Photo: Dan Zelikman)

Written by Dan Zelikman

NIGHT SHIFT - If any of our projects showed our complete obsession with making movies, it was this one.

After living in New York City for nine months during the production and post-production of our documentary Camp, we flew to San Diego. Our Director of Photography David Brooks wanted to take another shot at the 48 Hour Film Project. Unfortunately the event landed on the same day that we were arriving back in town. Exhausted, we still couldn't say no to David, so Night Shift was green-lit.

Director David Brooks works with his killer Christian Pedersen for his debut shot in the film. (Photo: Dan Zelikman)

Just like The Janitor we would have 48 hours to write, shoot, and edit our short film. Our assigned genre was thriller, and David, the director for this project, was immediately excited to do something campy that poked fun at the genre.

David thought an old newspaper factory that was shutting down would be the ideal setting. He had a cast in mind as well, and that combination lead to the premise of a group of workers who were stuck in the factory with a crazy cliche killer. Like I said, campy.

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The location had that thriller feel to it and the actors had no problem believing they were in a dangerous factory setting. With the help of some lighting and some makeup, we were ready to start shooting. After a few rehearsals we jumped right in. 48 hours is an absurdly short amount of time to complete a film and we wanted to make sure we had enough time to finish production and get right into the edits. 

Just like The Moo Crew has done in the past, we wrote an ambitious script that was going to be difficult to complete in the time we were allotted. Still, David led an inspired team and we worked late into the night to capture the story. 

A fun surprise was that David asked me to play a character in the movie. I had (sort of) acted in an early Moostache movie, The Janitor, and was excited to play the role of a detective who was after our story’s villain in this film. Apologies in advance to any viewers for my acting. 

Producer Dan Zelikman tells Director David Brooks he wants a bigger role in "his own way." (Photo: Traci Hong)

It was a really fun shoot. The cast and crew laughed a lot, and we did everything we could to get the film done in time. Unfortunately in the end, 48 hours proved to be just too little time, and Night Shift was handed in late.

We had a fun premiere of our own and it was great to see the results of our work on the big screen. While these two day challenges are almost impossible at times, they're also a great way to keep your skills sharp and a way to force yourself to finish a film in a weekend. 

David said (as the perfectionist that he is) he wasn't sure if he would do another 48 Hour Film Project challenge—but we all know he'll be the first to sign-up for the next one. And I'll be the first one in line to join his team.