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A reel race against the clock PDF Print E-mail
Written by COURTNEY BURKE   
Friday, 15 April 2011 14:06

Filmmakers of 48-hour challenge ready for official screening

You’re given a prop, a line of dialogue, a genre and 48 hours to complete a movie.

Would you be up for the challenge?

As part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival, also known as CUFF, 25 pre-registered teams gathered to take part in the 48-Hour Movie-Making Challenge around the end of last month.

Now the completed films are being screened for the public as part of CUFF’S finale this Sunday.

Festival director, Brenda Lieberman, said the screening would allow the teams to “show their completed projects to friends and families, while also introducing their talents to the larger community.”

As part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival, the 48-Hour Movie-Making Challenge entries are being screened for the first time this Sunday.
Courtney Burke/Calgary Journal

The teams have not yet viewed the film-shorts. However, Shane McLean, an actor in Team Gurren’s film “Last of the Reserve,” said he felt excited rather than nervous about the film’s revealing.

“I honestly am not that nervous about anything," McLean said. "I'm quite confident they have a strong project in their hands. I am most excited to see how it all came together and how it will be received,”

Nick Haywood was given the task to write the script for Team Gurren.

Yet, after participating in a 24-hour film challenge in the past, he described this as a “cake walk.”

His team was given a VHS tape as the main prop, post-apocalyptic genre and a line of dialogue.

“I kind of wanted it to be a character-driven dialogue piece, like a stage play. I thought that would be easiest and then once I was given the genre, I kind of poured my ideas into that,” Haywood said.

Given the time frame to complete a five-minute film, there was the possibility for many mistakes. Weather, location-scouting, group-work and filming are all issues that could have easily made or ruined the entire project; however, Lieberman said the main problems the teams had were technical issues.

“Getting the formatting correct for submission was probably the most difficult thing the teams faced,” she said.

Lieberman said the participants came from various backgrounds, including professionals, student filmmakers, and amateurs with a video camera. While the judging process, which takes place at the viewing, may seem intimidating, especially for the first-timers, Lieberman said it’s all about having fun.

“Everyone’s really supportive of the teams and the participants. You know they are laughing with you, not at you, and it’s just really fun, especially when trying to make it a community event,” she said. “It’s a way to get the local community involved with the festival and encourage more local productions.”

McLean is just as enthusiastic about this challenge being a way for the community to become involved in helping the Calgary arts scene grow.

“These festivals provide a motivation for those of us that aren't sure where to go or what to do in Calgary when it comes to filmmaking," he said. "And the more they happen, the more we put ourselves out there, the more growth there will be in the community.”

The films made during this year's 48-Hour Movie-Making Challenge are being screened this Sunday starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Theatre.

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