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The 48 Hour Film Project

The 11th annual 48 Hour Film Project screening at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon was just one
stop on the 2012’s worldwide tour.

Since 2001, when the first screening took place, in Washington DC, over 19,000 films have been made by 278,000 people. In 2012 over 50,000 filmmakers will make almost 4,000 films in 120 cities on 6 continents around the world.

Originally conceived by Mark Ruppert, the idea of the  project, is for team to make a short movie (minimum 4 minutes maximum 7)—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours. But that’s not all. They do not know what genre of film they are to make. Everyone gets assigned, at random, a genre. They then have between Friday 7pm local time and the following Sunday 7pm local time  to submit the completely finished project.  This is the “Official 48 Hour Time Period. The only prep they can do before the official start time is gather a cast, get the venue scouted, and gather equipment. Any creative process (i.e. writing, rehearsing, costuming, editing, shooting, rendering,sound design or outputting to tape or media must take place during the official 48 hours of the contest.

No matter what the genre, they have to incorporate 3 different elements into the film. This year those elements were:

  • They had to have a character named Gloria Or Gabe Wardell
  • They had to use the line “It takes one to know one”.
  • They had to use an iron as a prop

The results? A thoroughly enjoyable evening of watching entertaining productions from casts and crews of creative individuals.

Filmmakers from Group A Screening

Two of my favorites were a “Mockumentary”  called “Man of Iron”by Paul Smith and Andrew Small of Grease Trap Films. A couple of young aspiring filmmakers/producers. Their spoof of what happened to Gabe Wardell-Expert Ironer kept the audience laughing the entire 5-7 minutes.

Another favorite was “Jive Genie” by Erich Demarath of Man vs Film Productions. His spoof of a 70’s blaxploitation genre was sheer brilliance and, again, the audience was in stitches.

Image courtesy of Erich Demarath

After the screening, the Audience got to give a little appreciation to the filmmakers and ask a few questions. To give you an idea of what it takes to produce a 4-7 minute film, when asked by audience members what percentage was shooting and what percentage was production, the whole stage agreed that the editing of their films took more time, by quite a bit, than the shooting aspect with most expressing a ratio of 35% shooting and 65% editing. The process was definitely a NO SLEEPING ALLOWED kind of weekend.

The winners of the contest will have a chance to win $5000.00 and their film entered into the Cannes Film Festival.

If the tour stops in your city, GO!! Take a look at all of the wonderful creative local talent in your city. you will be amazed and it really will make you appreciate the whole creative process!


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