48 Hour Film Project, 2009: Washington, DC

Early bird registration for the 48 Hour Film Project has closed in DC, but regular registration is still open.

Team Gefilte Fish Eye shoots Damned Love in Tel Aviv in 2008.
Team Gefilte Fish Eye shoots 'Damned Love' in Tel Aviv in 2008.

This year, 48 Hour Film DC, takes place on the weekend on May 1st.  Yet again, I have a conflict that weekend, but I know of several people with teams in the mix this year and I might still find some way to get involved.  (Of note, 48 Hour Film Boston, is the same weekend and has already filled up, but you can get on the waiting list.)

Your Mission

For the uninitiated, 48 Hour Film Project is competition where you a write, shoot, edit and score a short film in 48 hours.

  • On the Friday evening at the beginning of the 48 hours you are given a genre for your film as well as a character, a prop, and a line to include in your movie.
  • On Sunday, the film is due, in completed form, to be screened in a local theater in the following week.
  • According to the 48 Hour Film Project site, last year there were 30,000 participants in 70 cities.  The Project has been around since 2001, and looks to be going strong.

This all makes for a crazy weekend of filmmaking fun and I highly recommend it to anyone with a weekend to spare.  Oh, right, and there are prizes for those of you who go for that.

Other Cities

If you’re not in the DC or Boston areas, other upcoming cities in May are all open for early bird registration now:

Boston Media Makers: July 6 at Doyle’s

Boston Media Makers
Image by grazr
Boston Media Makers is one of the best social networking groups I’ve found since moving out here.

They are an exceedingly welcoming bunch. Everyone sits around a big table, enjoying a hearty breakfast, and presents the group with a new project, new shiny toy, or a question. Then everyone mingles for about an hour afterward, swapping cards and emails.

Here are the details:

Sunday, July 6
Doyle’s Cafe
3484 Washington Street
Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA, 02130

Akiva Goldsman says. . .

This weekend, as a part of the reunion/commencement ceremonies at my alma mater, I got to see Akiva Goldsman talk about life as an Oscar-winning screenwriter. I also got to see a certain presidential candidate, but I’m going to be a good blogger and stay on topic.

I’ve seen a lot of writers come back and give advice to the masses. Goldsman talked a lot about failure. He was a failed novelist, a mostly-failed textbook writer, and he happened to, by accident, sell the first screenplay he ever wrote. His advice was, in a nutshell: “Write write write write write write write. And then write.”

Someone asked him about going to Hollywood. He said that Hollywood was a club of “about 500 people, with everyone trying to make sure it’s not 501.” He advised aspiring filmmakers, writers, and actors to develop their skills elsewhere, and then bring those skills with them. He said that LA was no place to find yourself – you have to bring something to the table to have success.

The talk reminded me why I chose a small market like Boston, where I can form bonds with people at all levels of the production process. I once was trying to coordinate a shoot with a woman in LA, who tried to get me to sum up where I wanted to be in 5 years. I gave her a very vague, philosophical answer, and she said “No. You need to KNOW now. Do you want to be a technical director? A location manager? What?” I’m lucky enough that I’ve been a location manager, a script supervisor, a producer, an editor. . . all from the same desk chair. I should hope that if I ever get to make money solely as a writer or producer, knowing the whole process from start to finish will serve me well.