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Two fast, two furious
At the 48 Hour Film Project, a race against the clock is not just a thrilling plot twist


It's a simple idea, really. Gather people together for two days, give them the genre of a film, one line of dialogue, some sort of prop and a random character, let them lose in the city of Savannah and allow creativity to flow.

But this weekend, around 200 competitors in the 48 Hour Film Project will find out that this undertaking is actually much more complex.

"I'm only anticipating that we will work hard and make a complete project-but probably the most important thing is to remember that it's not a normal filmmaking process and we'll just have to go with the flow and try to do a good job," said Yotam Dor, a SCAD graduate student who is working on a team with ten other participants.

Savannah is a first-time host to the international project, a rapid competition in 88 different cities to produce films in under 48 hours. Any one member of the public can participate in writing a script, directing a shoot, acting in a scene, editing sound or any other area involved in creating the 7-minute short.

"This city loves film-so this is an opportunity to give the community a chance to participate in making it," said Tyler M Reid, the producer of the event in Savannah.

With little preparation able to be done prior to the beginning of the weekend, team members must be ready to work with and find something creative in whatever is drawn from each category.

"Most filmmakers are used to a lot of preparation and then being rushed in production, but this project kind of flips that on its head. In fact, everything is rushed," Dor said.

The dash begins on Friday at 6 p.m. with a kick-off event at the Blowin' Smoke BBQ. After teams receive their unique requirements, they then have two days to complete the project, bringing it to Leopold's Ice Cream on Broughton Street not a minute later than 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evening.

For those who love the collaborative process of filmmaking, this timed project also offers a chance to bond with teammates. According to Dor, to create a successful video, each group must be composed of committed and eager individuals who are prepared to do a thorough, and sometimes even draining, job.

"Everyone on my team has a different focus, a different expertise," said Dor. "We each have our specific job to do, and I know we're all ready to do them full out."

Readying himself with a pre-project nap and a stock-up of Red Bull, the film student hopes the experience will also be rewarding for the city.

"For those 48 hours, Savannah is like the filmmaker's playground. We will have to participate with local businesses and other members of the community to create the best film, so it really has the ability to bring the city together," Dor said.

With a public of artistic innovators and a history of hosting other reputable festivals, Reid said that this type of project fits in perfectly with Savannah.

"The film community here is so big and diverse, so I'm looking forward to seeing what these talented participants can put together," he said.

For those who would rather sit back and be entertained, each finished film will be screened by the public and three judges at the Jepson Center for the Arts on Tuesday and Wednesday. The following week, awards will be given out for categories like Best Acting, Best Cinematography and Best Special Effects.

The film that wins the grand prize of Savannah's Best Film will go on to compete against the best of other cities at the Filmapalooza Festival in Las Vegas next April. One will come out on top again, with a cash prize and an opportunity to be screened at Cannes.

48 Hour Film Project

The world's largest extreme film competition, Friday-Sunday at various venues; screening of films July 21 and July 22 at Jepson Center for the Arts.