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The 48 Hour Film Project

It's that time of year again when we start talking about entering the 48 Hour Film Project. The first year we entered (2013) was a great experience if not troubled in some ways. We won two prizes for best use of the line of dialogue but more importantly the Best Writing. This was a somewhat interesting one as the writing process was a total nightmare. As the GFC has grown in numbers there are a lot of voices that all want input which is great except in the case of a competition like this. Too many people trying to make their idea heard wastes so much precious precious time. In preparation for the event I assigned three people to write, my thinking was that they would be able to veto bad ideas and come to a good place and do it quickly. Sounds good on paper but in reality the three people had never worked together and there was constant interference from the rest of the group sitting just a few meters away. As the night went on things got heated, or mildy frustrating at least. We had a good premise but we struggled to really nail anything down. Two people (one not one of the assigned writers) stayed up all night writing a script only to have it basically thrown out the window but another writer and the director in the morning. Obviously the actors were then out the loop and the AD ( I think that was supposed to be me?) was clueless about where we were at. In the end we made a really nice simple film that got good laughs and ironically won best writing. I'm not sure what made it work in the end, there was good material for the edit, the original idea was good so it all sort of clicked into place. You can't judge anyone on a 48 hour film project as it's a totally unique experience and people can act crazy. A lot of the problems were cause by me not organising things well and lack of experience on my part. I wasn't involved in the 2014 one so can't comment but looking at 2015 the question arises again - how do you control the writing process of quite a large group of collaborators? I can set people as writers but then should you let the whole group brain storm and collectively come up with the main premise? I'm going to start a discussion this Thursday and see where we get. Regardless of what happens I always welcome the 48 Hour Film Project when it creeps around, it gets people working and actually creating content that's finished in a very very short space of time. Watch this space!

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