The 48 Hour Film Festival and Why You Should Do It
Are you a creative? This may be the project for you. The 48 Hour Film Festival is initially what got me into film making. Before then, I had only some experience with film classes and film writing. It’s long. It’s grueling. It’s a gauntlet run that will test every skill set you have, but it will inevitably be worth it and it will make you better at your craft.
What is the 48 Hour Film Festival?
Since its inception, the 48 Hour Film Festival has helped school-age kids to film industry professionals to try their hand at short films. Every year, thousands of creators, young and old, come together to make a short film between 4-7 minutes long in under 48 hours. At kick-off, each team is given a specific genre, a line of dialogue, a prop, and a character with a particular occupation. From there, everything from writing a script, producing, editing, special effects, and music must come together in a cohesive movie before the deadline on Sunday evening.
How I Got Involved With the 48 Hour Film Festival:
Almost a decade ago, my dearest friends decided we should try our hand at the Greensboro 48 Hour Film Festival. That year, our production studio Layla Films Productions was born, and we drew our genre: musical. None of us had ever shot a music video before, so it went about as well as you can imagine. Luckily, friend and musician Cameron Wilkin helped write 4 excellent songs that won us the Best Music award that year. The production quality itself left a lot to be desired, but we kept making movies.
Every time we made a new film, we’d acquire better film making gear, upgrade our editing software, practice new shots, and test out fresh angles for our movies. In 2017, our short horror film, Fun and Games, won the Greensboro Horror 48 Hour Film Festival and our film went to be screened in Paris at Filmapalooza. The winners of Filmapalooza go on to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Ours didn’t win that year, but it left the taste of ingenuity on our tongues.
Even for veteran film makers, the film festival will test your efficiency, creative process, and cohesion as a team. It helped me become a better writer, filmmaker, and photographer as a whole. Short films are definitely the perfect medium for our comedy skit ideas.
Why the 48 Hour Film Festival Is Worth While:
Every year, we see old regulars and neophytes try their hand at film making every year. High school and college students throw down, eager to make art. Creative adults try their hand at something new. The teams improve year after year as they learn more about the film making process. I’ve been inspired by the stories shared and brought to life by our peers on the big screen. These film festivals have served as pillar for our local film community. They’ve helped so many budding film makers network with experienced ones.
If you have a free weekend this year, try something new. Spend it making a movie.