Our First Film
We didn't say it was great; just that it was the first.
Terms and Condition Short Film poaster

June 30th, 2018: Father and son duo of Terry Coates and Jackson Coates enter the 24 Hour Film Race (filmracing.com). The idea behind this competition is to make a short film−from scratch−in just 24 hours. The result was the short film Terms and Conditions, which the pair later re-made.

Required Elements:

In a film race, certain elements must be included, but those elements are not announced until the start of the competition. For this year’s 24-Hour Film Race, the following were the elements:

    • Theme: Time’s up!
    • Prop: An action figure
    • Action: Watching a Reflection

Announcing these elements at the last minute makes it harder to create the film outside the 24-hour window. Got to keep people honest!

Terms & Conditions Trivia:

Illegal Elements – The film was never entered into the competition because it couldn’t be be completed on time. As it turns out, the film probably would have been disqualified anyway: The two clips used on the TV were filmed outside of the 24-hour window and therefore cannot be used in a film race.

TV Clips – The first of the TV clips featured Jackson when he was about 6 or 7 years old. That video was created just for fun, over ten years ago. The second clip featured his step-brother, Alex Wey. That video was a grade-school project (the outtakes reel was extensive, but hilarious).

So Very Hot – It was so hot on the filming day of Terms and Conditions that Jackson got a first-degree burn on his knee when he kneeled on the track. That footage was used in the re-make of the film and you can see that heat rising off the track in the wide shot. That was not done as a visual effect!

To the Woods! – The original script called for the final scene to play out on a Cross Country course, but Jackson had the idea of finishing the film in the woods. This had multiple benefits: It kept the sun exposure down on that very hot day; it lessened the amount of time needed both for filming and traveling to the other location; it worked better for the story because it ended in the same place where the Runner picked up the shoes.

So Very Cheap – The total cost of production was less than $100, including the two pair of “magic shoes”. These were found on clearance at an outlet mall, further containing the costs of the production. And both Terry and Jackson got a new pair of running shoes!

The Shoes – When Jackson first saw the “magic shoes” in the store, he said they were “Clearly a women’s shoe”. Ah, but they weren’t. And it turned out that the design (a starlight pattern on a black background) couldn’t have been a better fit for the film. And they were on sale. At an oulet mall. Nice.

Unused Gear – A motorized camera slider was procured for use in filming Terms and Conditions. The thought was to use the slider to add motion to shots, especially those where both Terry and Jackson were on camera and no one was available to move the camera manually. The slider was set up for a shot at the hill run location, however due to unfamiliarity with the camera, the shot wasn’t captured. In the end, the slider wasn’t used at all. It wasn’t used in the re-make either because of time constraints.

Unwanted Noise – The banging noise heard when the Runner drives the van into the parking lot is a coat hangar banging against the window. The hangar had held the jacket that the Shoe Representative is wearing, but the hangar was left in the van. This shot was filmed toward the end of a long, hot day and the problem wasn’t noticed until post-production.

Unwanted People – Constantly throughout the filming, people kept showing up at the filming locations. The hill, which almost never sees any traffic (except sledding in Winter!) proved especially troublesome and caused some delays in getting the shots there. We had better luck during the re-make.

Last-minute Clip – The opening shot is the only footage captured outside of the official 24-hour window of the film race. That was added the following morning, to provide a better opening.


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