48 Hour Film Project returns this weekend
Not every tween rushing around Tampa Bay this weekend will be playing Pokemon Go.
They could be making a movie, with only two days to do it.
The Movie Makers Club, comprised of children ages 18 and younger, is an entry in the 10th annual 48 Hour Film Project. Tampa Bay is one of 130 cities worldwide putting filmmakers on the clock, making short films in a single weekend.
Rewards are miniscule by Hollywood standards. Bragging rights, mainly. Judges decide awards called the Quickies. No money for winners, just freebies from sponsors. Each completed movie staying within the rules gets a local screening for friends and family, and lottery odds of being shown at Filmapalooza, the project's annual gathering in Los Angeles.
"Some people have bowling tounaments that they enjoy," said Tampa Bay project coordinator Joel Bates. "That's their hobby or profession. We have filmmakers who enjoy this opportunity to test their skills and creativity, in a fast and frenzied, like a sprint.
"You might be a good runner but how fast can you run? You might be a great filmmaker but how do you perform under the pressure of a clock?"
The production window in strictly enforced, starting at 7 p.m. Friday and ending Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (Okay, that's 48 1/2 hours but who's counting?) Films must be written, rehearsed, designed, shot, edited, sound-polished and transferred to a approved media format for viewing. All that can be done in advance is building a cast and crew, scouting locations and collecting equipment.
A random drawing will determine what genre a team's short must fit into, i.e. comedy, drama, etc. Each team is also assigned three specific elements that must be included in their movies: a required character, prop and line of dialogue. These will be announced at Friday's 6 p.m. kickoff event, at World of Coffee (formerly Joffrey's), 18112 N. 15th St. in Ybor City.
Films are expected to be a minimum of four minutes and a maximum of seven, not including end credits. They're due back at World of Coffee on Sunday by 7:30 p.m.
A record 32 teams are entered this year, including Derek McDonnell of Pensylvania, who already participated in 48 Hour Film Project competitions in six cities this year. McDonnell travels with his own film crew, making a documentary about the process.
"That's never happened before," said Bates. "A record number of films, a team of children, this guy; this is an amzing year."