Coming Next Week

Nine people who have never made a film make one in a weekend

Coming Next Week
Photo By Todd V. Wolfson

Just a quick heads-up that next week, as part of our continuing quest to map all the side roads, dark corners, and back alleys of local culture, the Chronicle will be taking readers inside the 48 Hour Film Project.

Conceived in 2001 by Washington, D.C., filmmakers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston, the 48 Hour Film Project has spread to more than 100 cities during its short history and will be taking place in no fewer than 50 cities this year. The guidelines behind the festival are simple: Participating teams gather on a given Friday and are assigned a genre, a line of dialogue, a prop, and a character name; they are then set loose to make a four- to seven-minute film in 48 hours. Those films that are completed in time are then set against one another by a panel of judges to determine which film is going to represent its city in a national competition.

Every year in June, Reel Women, a local nonprofit group dedicated to promoting the education and careers of female filmmakers, sponsors the Austin version of the 48 Hour Film Project. This year – the festival's sixth here – 28 teams took part, and when the dust had cleared, 25 had beaten the deadline and were eligible to win the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the country's best. Last week, all of the films (including those that were turned in late) screened at the Regal's Arbor Cinema.

Believing there was something in the 48 Hour Film concept that might shed some light on the creative process, last month we began assembling a team of established Austin artists with no experience in filmmaking. They would gather under the auspices of the 48 Hour Film Project to write, shoot, and edit a movie together. The team: Lyn Wiltshire, a choreographer and associate professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at UT; Thomas Turner, a multi-instrumentalist and composer with the band Ghostland Observatory; Jade Walker, a sculptor and director of the Creative Research Laboratory; Robert Boland, a graduate visual-arts student at UT; Mack White, a comic-book artist, writer, and editor; Tiffany Love, Miss Emerald Lovejoy in the burlesque troupe Kitty Kitty Bang Bang; Tasha Lawson, a principal dancer and director with Tapestry Dance Company; Will Furgeson, a two-time finalist in the Chronicle Short Story Contest; and Ben Webster, vocalist/mastermind behind the band Attack Formation and all-around mensch.

Whether their films turned out to be masterpieces or colossal train wrecks, the road to their realizations would surely say something about the volubility of creative temperament and the malleability of an artistic mind.

Please check back next week to see how it all played out. We promise our readers a great time at the movies.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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More 48 Hour Film Project
Adjusting to the Mise-en-Scène
Adjusting to the Mise-en-Scène
Nine nonfilmmakers – artists out of place – make one in 48 hours

Josh Rosenblatt, July 13, 2007

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48 Hour Film Project, Reel Women

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