News Column

Mark, set and go -- filmmakers get 48 hours to create

July 11, 2013


July 11--It's filmmaking on steroids akin to an amazing race.

Dozens of directors, actors, photographers, writers, sound engineers and others will scurry around the Richmond area this weekend to make films in the Richmond 48 Hour Film Project competition.

The contestants have just that, 48 hours, to make a 4- to 7-minute film in a genre they learn about Friday during a kickoff event open to the 53 teams registered.

"At the kickoff event teams will pull a genre out of a hat," said Samantha Tucker, producer of this year's competition. "They might get a ... drama or a Western or a horror movie," for example.

"Then throughout the evening I reveal a character, a prop and a line of dialogue. Once the final elements are revealed, then all the teams are off and running and have 48 hours to write a film incorporating all those elements, shoot it, edit it, music, everything."

The completed short films must be turned in by 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The next weekend, July 20-21, all the works will be screened at the Byrd Theatre. The overall best film will be announced and screened Aug. 3 at the Byrd Theatre. Also, category winners and audience choice winners will be announced then.

"Teams can be as small or as large as a team would like," Tucker said. "A lot of teams will pull local actors from the community."

Teams paid $140-$175 to enter the competition, with early registrants paying the lower rate.

This is the seventh year Richmond has hosted the event. Similar competitions take place in cities around the country.

The best overall Richmond film goes to Filmapalooza, a national event showcasing the best works from city competitions, in 2014.

"From there some of the films go on to Cannes for a special screening that is done there," said Tucker, referring to the Cannes International Film Festival.

The local winning team also gets a trophy and a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter Software 6, valued at $250. Judges are local film experts.

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