After many visits to other film festivals and meeting lots of directors, we kept asking “have you made a scifi movie?” – mostly the answer was “we don’t have that kind of budget“.
“What kind of budget?” we would say… “Shane Carruth reportedly made PRIMER for $7000 – and the main special effect was the innards of a washing machine”. Surely, like any good film you just need the right script, great actors and good sound mix? If you want to make AVATAR, sure you need 100million, but you can make scifi with very little in the way of FX etc. Take ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND as another example, the money was not spent by the effects teams.
We decided to start a 48hr film challenge to see what people could do with little in the way of resources, time being one of them!
In 2008, a young FX artist decided to take part and make a film that John Landis (AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, TRADING PLACES), head of the challenge jury, would see. That filmmaker was Gareth Edwards who took part and won the competition. The short film was called FACTORY FARMED and it really showed his talent for cinematic visuals. The film got touted about and a feature deal followed.
Gareth’s debut feature, the multiple award-winning MONSTERS, was green-lit because Vertigo Films saw his winning 48hour short-film right here! So impressed were they with what he could do with no budget in just 2 days that they had to develop a feature with him. Gareth’s second feature came out in 2014, it’s about a big lizard called GODZILLA!!! He then directed the brilliant STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE, and is now working on a new sci-fi project.
Simply sign up here. On the day of the challenge we give you the TITLE of the film you will make, some DIALOGUE that one of your characters must say to screen, and a list of PROPS that must be seen in the film. We also give you an optional scientific theme or idea… this could be nano-tech, cloning, gene-splicing…or something a little more “fringe”.
Once you have all your elements, you have until Monday morning to return the completed movie to us, send it via the Internet (youtube, wetransfer, vimeo upload etc)… simples!
Start scouting locations and getting actors together now! But don’t write a script… seriously, you won’t have enough to time to make “that” film in a weekend.
What you can do is book your actors, secure your locations, decide on the most important roles in production and get a team together. You can think about a tone or look, you can plan rough timings – when to write, shoot, edit. Who is doing music? Who is feeding everyone? Got a spare drive?, charged all your batteries… lots of this kind of prep is allowed. But remember the rules below:
And one last thing, don’t just copy the look and feel of a previous winner – it just makes every on the team here sigh.