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After living in Asheville for less than two weeks, I decided to plunk down $160 bucks and enter what is called the 48 Hour Film Project. This means that on a Friday night you pull a genre out of a hat and then are assigned a prop, a character, and a line that must be spoken in the film. You have 48 hours to turn in a movie between 4-7 minutes in length.
Here was our assignment:
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Prop: bell
- character: Cynthia Peters gym instructor
- line of dialogue: It’s your choice. What are you going to do?
When I entered the competition, I knew my team would at least consist of my youngest daughter age five, my older daughter age eight, and my wife who probably prefers me not disclose her age. With less than a week before the competition began, I hoped to secure some possible locations and recruit additional members to our Torg Stories team. I went to the library and checked out Asheville travel books, read the local Mountain Xpress hoping to find talent in the way of music or comedians, and sent messages to people I’d never met on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Using that process, I put together a team. Here are a few of the people I worked with and the places we shot:
Barbie Angell who starred as the Fairy Protector of the Garden
the garden in the trailer is owned by Chris Mello. He also acts in the film
Dave from the Asheville Outdoor Center keeping me afloat
we filmed at The Odditorium in West Asheville
Film by 16 year old Alex who did great work with us
Jeremy Vogt hooked us up with sci fi and travel music.
Love to hear comments and questions from you or if there is any other part of the 48 Hour Film Project that interests you.
has been accepted to the
Screens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Saturday, July 20th at 8:30
Wednesday, July 24th at 4:30 p.m.
A Son’s Story of His Father’s Passion
The Mushroom Hunter is a Doc Film of Thirty Minutes
Torg and his buddies have hunted morel mushrooms for over fifty years. In this documentary shot in North Central Indiana, hear their stories, learn some of their secrets, and join them for a local hunt. This is a story of friendship and the trials that come with getting older.
from left to right: Casey Jones, Martin Torgerson, Kenny Hattery
Vic Heater on the left and Martin Torgerson on the right head into the woods for a hunt
Onesheet more Information about The Mushroom Hunter (pdf)
Bill Torgerson pdf filmmaker bio
Media Kit for Bill Torgerson provided by Cherokee McGhee Press
“Tell me about this trail,” I said to my dad. We were at France Park, just outside Logansport, Indiana. I’d driven 700 miles over Easter Weekend 2012 to film Dad while he hunted morel mushrooms. The park used to be a rock quarry, and now it’s filled with water and used for fishing, swimming, and diving. Back when I was a kid, we’d climb the cliffs and jump off of them into the water. It’s been a long time since they allowed people to do that.
“You talking to me?” my dad asked. I immediately thought of that scene from Taxi Driver, the one where Robert Dinero practices a variety of tough guy personas in the mirror. My dad wasn’t angry with me. He really wasn’t sure if I was talking to him or his friend Vick Heater. It’s just that the default tone of his voice often seems to offer a challenge. Finally, at the age of 42, I sort of understand this aspect of his personality.
I filmed my dad for a documentary I’ve nearly completed entitled The Mushroom Hunter. When you edit a movie, you really get to know the subject material. Although dad and I have talked only a few times in the last several months, I’ve been watching him on the computer screen nearly everyday. I’ve been reflecting on his mushroom hunting and thinking about the lives each of us have lived so far.
I think a son might tend to focus on the ways in which he is different from his father, but there’s nothing like pouring over the footage to be reminded of all we have in common. For example, the film notes that my dad has driven as far South as Memphis and as far North as the Upper Península of Michigan to hunt mushrooms. I note this as potentially odd, (dad himself notes that his friends wonder if he’s gone crazy) and then I realize that I have driven even further to film my dad hunting mushrooms. Not sure which of those drives is crazier. So we don’t think twice about driving a long way, and just like dad, I spent a good deal of my working life teaching English and coaching basketball.
Turns out that filmmaking, just like writing, works as a tool for knowing.
above, the guys tell stories of mushroom hunts past