48 Hour Film Project Lures Me In

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When Liz told me she was on Andrew’s team for the 48-hour Film Project in Salt Lake City my first thought was why didn’t they ask me? We actors are so egocentric. I mean I was the one who introduced Liz to Andrew in the first place. So I messaged Andrew and he said of course I could join them. He said he didn’t ask because he sees from my FB posts that I’m always busy. Never too busy for friends and an all-nighter! Plus, I’ve always wanted to do this event – at least once in my life-and I’ve never been in town over the dates. And so began my annual 48 Hour Film “career”.

The 48 Film Project is a national competition that starts at the city level. That year, 2013, 120 cities on six continents hosted a 48-hour weekend. Teams gathered on Friday night- in this case May 31, 2013, at 6 pm where Team Captains reached into a ‘hat’ and drew out a genre. It could be any one of these:

  • Buddy Film
  • Comedy
  • Crime/Gangster
  • Dark Comedy
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Musical or Western
  • Romance
  • Sci Fi
  • Superhero
  • Thriller/Suspense
  • Vacation or Holiday Film

We had 48 hours to script, shoot, edit, score and produce a film between 4 and 8 minutes. The catch was that organizers drew a character, a prop and a line of dialogue out of a hat too that MUST appear in all the films in some way.

Here are some examples from previous years:

Character

  • Bitsy Ballou, Advice Columnist
  • Ignazio del Fuego, Cab Driver
  • Hugh Simon, Bouncer

Prop

  • Large Suitcase
  • Snow Globe
  • Electric Fan

Line of Dialogue

  • Is that the best you’ve got?
  • I was lied to and very much deceived.
  • When you say it like that, it’s almost poetry.

The Film Project is back again and it’ll be my third year in a row participating. One of these days I’ll be on an award-winning team but no matter it’s still a blast to spend the weekend with avid filmmakers and peers.

When the judges do choose a winner, they will continue on to compete against the winners from the other cities at Filmapalooza in Hollyweird next February.

The overall winner at Filmapalooza 2013 was “Jacques Serres” by Les Productions avec Volontiers so you can see how far this project reaches. There were winners from Cape Town, the Netherlands, Prague, Denver, Baltimore, etc. But nothing in Utah has ever come close to this caliber of speed-filmmaking.

 

 

Personally, I think Utah can do a lot better than last year’s winner:

Maybe we win; maybe we don’t but I look at this as an awesomely intense team building experience. Our team in 2013 consisted of Andrew Hook, Liz Baker, Jim Stevens, Cami Twede, Joe Hatfield, and little ‘ol me

Back in 2001, when the 48 Hour Film Project was first conceptualized, Mark Ruppert and several other DC filmmakers wondered, “Would films made in only 48 hours even be watchable?” Of course, some aren’t but I sure hope ours is!

Update:

I had so much fun making the 2013 film that I also acted in 2014. Here are my two shorts.

This year’s 48-Hour Film Project kicks off Friday, June 12, with 23 teams geared up so far for the weekend, movie-making marathon. If you’re interested in participating, contact any of the filmmakers you see listed under ‘teams’ through their Facebook pages. I’m sure they would love your assistance.

If you’d rather sleep in, you can see all the shorts at the premier screenings June 16 & 17 at the Broadway Cinemas at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.. Tickets are $12.

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