A time to shoot

Recover from out-patient surgery. Drive from the Alamodome tothe Georgia Dome with a few bathroom breaks in between. Determine a suspect in a homicide case. Blow your life savings in Las Vegas. You could do a lot of things in only 48 hours.

Is it possible to make a movie in the same amount of time?

The 48 Hour Film Project challenges filmmaking teams to prove they can accomplish this two-day feat. Now in its seventh year, the 48HFP imposes its tight deadline on film crews across the globe from D.C. to Berlin and dares participants to liberate themselves through this creative effort. This year will mark San Antonio’s first year of

“It will be interesting to see what filmmakers will do in their first year,” said Liz Langston, co-executive producer of the 48HFP. “`In San Antonio` there is potential for lots of sunny outdoor shots, great westerns, and … maybe a hip, urban sophisticated drama or two.”

After forming a filmmaking team, each group randomly selects a character, prop, and line of dialogue, which must all appear in the film. Then teams are tasked to write, shoot, edit and score an entire film between August 10 and 12. The finished products will be screened at the Alamo Drafthouse on August 14. San Antonio’s first-place winning team will get to show their film at the next scheduled 48HFP Filmapalooza and also receive distribution of their movie on a compilation DVD.

“I know what I’m getting myself into,” said local filmmaker Travis Thomsen. “It’s going to be chaotic. It’s very intense filmmaking.”

In 2006, 33 cities took part in the event. This year, San Antonio is one of 56 cities gearing up for the competition.

“It’s incredible to see how this `project` is taking off,” Langston said. “Filmmaking is becoming the new creative sport.”

For the past two years, San Antonio has had its own rendition of the 48HFP, called the 48 Hour Film Experience, sponsored by the San Antonio Film Commission. Erik Bosse, producer of the 48HFP, was a co-creator of the local version. As part of the international festival, Bosse says San Antonio-based directors, writers, producers, and actors, have the chance to exhibit their talent on a much larger stage.

“San Antonio has its own cultural identity and cultural mix that will be shown at this festival,” Bosse said. “There is a wealth of filmmaking talent here.”

Local producer and president of PrimaDonna productions Nikki Young is no stranger to time restraints. As a board member for the San Antonio Theatre Coalition, Young helped plan TheatreASAP, an event in which plays are written and rehearsed in 24 hours before making their on-stage debut.

“I already have the foundation and fundamental elements from a play standpoint,” Young said. “I’ll take my knowledge of that and apply it to `the 48HFP`.”

As the producer for her team, Young won’t be on the creative side during the frantic two days. Instead, her job is to organize and coordinate the logistics of the film, from casting to scouting locations.

“There is very limited pre-production,” Young said. “You just have to piece it together. But you do need discipline and organization. As long as you have your game plan and a solid team, the process should go smoothly.”

Still working out his team details, Thomsen is looking forward to a two-day artistic free-for-all. However, he is also a bit nervous about the parameters that will be placed on his film when he is assigned a genre. He has his fingers crossed for dark comedy.

“Getting something like a Western would be pretty painful,” he said. “I just hope I don’t pick documentary.”

48 Hour Film Project
6pm, 6:30pm, 9pm, 9:30pm Tue, Aug 14
Alamo Drafthouse
1255 SW Loop 410
(210) 677-8500
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