Make a movie in 48 hours.
That is what the 3rd annual 48 Hour Film Project asks of those willing to take the challenge. Landee Bryant, producer of the Paducah festival, said the event was developed 10 years ago by a group of filmmakers.
“Ten years later and with more than 300 competitions having taken place around the world, it is amazing to consider the success of the project,” Bryant said. “The smallest team has consisted of one person who sets up the camera then runs around to be ‘on-camera.’ The largest team to date was a team from Albuquerque with 116 people and 30 horses. There have been about 12,500 teams in the project over the years.”
Bryant said the event has involved 12 to 14 groups each year, and is open to anyone. The films must be five to seven minutes long, and include a predetermined phrase, prop and character. Genres are drawn out of a hat, and then the 48 hours begin.
“We love to see amateurs and professionals alike and each year we have a nice combination of both,” Bryant said. “The local winner gets to compete in the national competition, which is called Filmapalooza.”
Bryant emphasized the importance of taking a chance and making a film, no matter the level of expertise or type of equipment.
“I think better content leads to better films,” Bryant said. “Many would like to have you think that they are hindered by their lack of access to certain technology, but I truly think that if the story is there, the rest will come. While having a film in a nice tight package is wonderful and we do like to see a high production quality, a film is not out of the running because it isn’t as flashy. The judges are very keen to that notion.”
Bryant said raising awareness is key to success in years to come.
“The idea of creating a film in 48 hours probably doesn’t come up every day, but doing so really exposes your ability to work with a team, subscribe to a list of constraints and elements and create something of which you can be proud,” Bryant said. “I think it is a great experience for everyone.”
D.J. Wood, junior from Paducah, Ky., has participated in the competition the last two years but has not completed them on time.
“It was a super professional shoot this year,” Wood said. “We had an amazing camera like you see in the movies. It was really, really good. The team gave it 1,000 percent so it’s sad that we didn’t get it done on time, but we wouldn’t turn something in that wasn’t great.”
Wood was an actor in the group “Distinguished Catfish,” named by director Jon Walker.
“The shoot was really rough,” Wood said. “Even though I almost passed out and walked away exhausted, I’ll do it again next year. Paducah is one of the smallest towns in the competition, and there aren’t a lot of film projects in the area. People who wouldn’t be able to put together a movie otherwise get the opportunity with this. It’s wonderful for anyone who’s an aspiring filmmaker, writer or actor, and it’s challenging. I think anyone who is interested should do it.”