Misc Thoughts

The 48 Hour Film Project

Last night, I attended the showing of ten of the films from the Boston version of the 48 Hour Film Project.  If you’re not familiar with it (I wasn’t), the Project is a film competition held in, roughly, 30 cities around the world in which the contestant teams get the subject and genre for a 7-10 minute film at 7pm on Friday evening and must deliver a completed film by 7:30 on Sunday evening.  Some teams are semi-professionals with loads of equipment and experienced talent and some are, ahem . . . less experienced . . .  I attended because my daughter was the assistant director for her middle school’s film.  As far as we can tell, they were, by far, the youngest group in the competition.  It was a blast to see a group of 13 and 14 year olds standing next to 30-50 year olds on stage – some with titles like “producer” and “production assistant” – answering questions at the end of the presentation.

My daughter’s school drew “comedy” and “western” from the random grab bag of choices on Friday evening.  They also had certain lines, characters and catch phrases that had to be used as part of the film.  Their film, Manischewitz Destiny about a gunfight at a Bar Mitzvah taking place in the old west was simply hilarious.  It’s not up on the site yet, but it should be some time soon.

The rules are interesting (here is my edited version, you can see the complete one on the web site if you’re interested).

1. Times:

  • The 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) will occur between a Friday 7pm local time and the following Sunday 7pm local time. This is the Official 48 Hour Time Period. (Days of competition may vary in other countries.)
  • The participating group/team must complete its film/video work in time to deliver it to a location to be announced, on Sunday by 7:30pm.

2. In that 48 hour period, all creativity will take place, including but not limited to:

  • Writing the script
  • Rehearsing
  • Costume/Set Design
  • Shooting
  • Editing
  • Sound Design

3. The only work to begin prior to the “Official 48 Hour Time Period” is:

  • Organizing Crew
  • Organizing Cast
  • Securing Equipment
  • Scouting/Securing Locations

4. All footage must be shot within the 48 hour time period of the project.

  • No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used.
  • Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the 48 hour time period.
  • Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do not need to be created during the 48 hour time period.

5. Each participating group must have a representative at the official Kickoff Event of the 48 Hour Film Project.

  • The required Character and Prop must be seen on-screen.
  • The required Line of Dialogue may be spoken, sung and/or written. It may be in any language, though if it is unclear that it is the Line, there must be a translation.
  • To qualify as an “Official 48 Hour Film,” each group’s film must be in the genre it selects and must contain all required elements within the official time limit and prior to the credits.

7. All cast and crew must be volunteers.

8. The finished film must be a minimum of 4 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 7 minutes in duration.

11. Sound recordings and Sound Effects: Sound recorders are allowed in addition to the two camera limit above. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have rights to use them.

If the 48Hour Film Project is in your city, it is definitely worth checking out.  The evening was a total blast.  There are some very inventive people and there are some weird ones.  Sometimes you even run into the future artistic talent of the world in pint-sized form.

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