Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge

Last Weekend Sci-Fi London (UK) held an event called the National 48 Hour Film Challenge where participant filmmakers were given obviously 48 hours to produce a 5 minute science fiction film. On top of that, they were given:

  1. A title
  2. A prop
  3. A line of dialogue

And expected to work with them as part of their films. These will all be coming online on the above site over the next week or so, but I just watched one called 6am Starter on a filmmaker’s blog and was rather impressed with it. I’ve seen other “48 Hour” challenges before, but doing it with film is a new one, especially in a genre like Sci-Fi which normally has a lot of pre-production and post-production time. It’s also impressive to see how good digital cameras have become, and how well they can shoot stuff that can look almost professional- almost.

If it wasn’t so logistically tricky, I’d suggest trying a 48 Hour Audio Drama competition. The only problem there would be that in Satellite Audio Drama it takes so long to get lines back you’d need teams of actors prepped and ready to go from the moment they receive their lines, otherwise you’d never finish assembling them in time. The only other way to do it would be for the cast to meet on Skype and record that call, but god help you with the line and microphone noise you’d need to remove to make that sound good.

3 thoughts on “Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge

  1. Rob – thanks for your kind words about 6am Starter. The 48 hour audio drama’s a good idea. I’m sure there’s a few ways to get around the logistical issues.



  2. Sadly, it’d probably have to be broken up into pieces: 24 hours to write the script, say, and then a week to do the rest. I just don’t reckon that you’d get a team of actors who could all guarantee in advance that they could do it within a short time. Maybe I’m wrong, but my experience is that often just one will have issues in managing to get lines in within a month, let alone a few hours. Add to that different time zones and it means that you can only really cast with people from the same country – or have a shorter time to mix.

    Alternatively, the writing and mixing could be divided: 24 hours to write the script, which is then sent to a central place to check it exists. Then a week to get lines and 24 hours again to mix it.

    I’d absolutely *love* to see a 24 hour competition, or in fact any such competition – sounds like a brilliant idea. I just don’t know how easy it’d be for most people to achieve, though. :-/

  3. Hmmm…24, a week, 24. That does sound quite do-able for any audio drama group.

    I think the 48 hour thing can be done if you have a very small group of committed (and speedy!) actors ready to go, but otherwise I agree it could be difficult.

    Either way, I think it would be fun too. Easily something worth trying on either the VAA or the ADT forums with their membership. Although it’s almost not fair to run it on ADT, since there’s so many people there who are Pros or close to it.

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