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The 48 Hour Film Project 2012

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
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"Good morning, intrepid film crew. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make a musical or western film featuring nail artist Biff Johnston, a can opener and the words "We'll always have Wagga Wagga". Oh, and by the way, you only have 48 hours to write the script, design and make costumes, rehearse, shoot, edit and score your film. This tape will self destruct when you stop laughing." Welcome to the masochistic world of The 48 Hour Film Project, coming to Brisbane on the weekend of Friday 13 April to Sunday 15 April.

[ADVERT]The Project
The 48 Hour Film Project is designed to test the movie-making mettle of even the most diehard aficionados. Initiated in 2001 by Washington filmmakers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston, the Project, like Tropfest and the Adventure Film Festival, has burgeoned into a world-wide success. 2011 saw 60,000 filmmakers in more than 90 cities make 4,000 films in 48 hours. Films must run for between four and seven minutes and will be judged on artistic and technical merit and adherence to the brief. Prizes are awarded in numerous categories in each city, including best overall film. The best films from each city then compete for the International prize. And the judges seem to have some form. The winner of the tenth annual international competition was a silent film, pre-empting the 2012 Academy Award success of The Artist.

Registration is now open here. Team leaders submit the online registration and pay the fee - $150 before 6 April or $180 from 6 April to 13 April. Don't worry if you don't have a ready-made crew just yet. Experienced or budding actors, scriptwriters, costume designers, directors, editors and musicians can express their interest and be added to the database here, so when Brisbane's next Nick Earls wants a director to turn his words into reality he may just call you.

Kick-Off and Drop-Off
The event kicks off on Friday 13 April at Griffith Film School at the corner of Dock and Vulture Streets, South Brisbane. Teams should arrive by 5.30pm so they can be off and running (and they mean running) by 7pm.

Completed films must be dropped off at Level 1, The Thought Fort, 80 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley by 7.30pm. The organisers emphasise that there will be no exceptions, so don't incur their wrath. You wouldn't want to end up as a human sacrifice in the next entry for the horror genre.

Okay, so I lied about musical or western film - well, just a bit. At the Kick-Off Event entrants will draw from a number of Genre categories, which may include Dark Comedy, Mockumentary, Sci Fi, and yes, even Musical or Western. If you don't like your choice you can try again for a Wild Card category, but as with most things be careful what you wish for because once you swap, you're stuck. Wild Card categories for 2012 include Road Movies, Buddy Films or Coming of Age.

Yes, I also lied about Biff Johnston, the can opener and Wagga Wagga. They were just to illustrate a point. Random draws will also be conducted to select a required character, prop and line of dialogue. The difference here is that all teams must use the same required elements in their films, regardless of genre. Makes for an interesting scenario, huh? If you have any brilliant suggestions for elements you can submit them here. Biff and the can opener are already there. I'm still debating that line about Wagga Wagga.

Screenings and Awards Night
Event Cinemas, Myer Centre, Brisbane is the venue for the film screenings. Thursday 3 May will see the Audience Choice Awards up for grabs and on Friday 4 May all the finalists will be shown, along with the Awards Ceremony. Both nights begin at 7pm.

Now the rest of you Brisbaneites not brave enough to take up the challenge can spend the weekend of 13 to 15 April playing Spot the Film Crew around town. You never know, you might even find yourself as an extra in a crowd scene. Just watch out for Biff and that can opener.
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Why? If you're an insomniac masochist with movie mania this is the event for you.
When: From Friday 13 April to Sunday 15 April. Screenings on 3 and 4 May.
Where: Maybe at a street, building or park near you.
Cost: Registration $150 to $180 per team.
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