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Tuesday, June 5, 2012 / 8:35 AM

48 Hour Film Project Screenings Kick off Tonight at the Tivoli

The world’s largest timed filmmaking competition, The 48 Hour Film Project, arrived in Saint Louis this past weekend, June 1 through 3. Traveling to nearly 125 cities throughout the world, the project invites close to 50,000 filmmakers to compete. This is the way it works: Teams of filmmakers must write, shoot, edit and score a film in just 48 hours, not a minute longer. Adding to their difficulties, each team is given the same character, prop and line to use in the film. The difference is in the genre. Teams choose from a hat 15 minutes before the competition to find out which type of genre their film will be: comedy, horror, western, musical, etc.

With veteran and emerging teams competing, the 7 p.m. kickoff of the competition on Friday brought a multitude of strategies, pressures and emotions to the teams. Pixel Pear, a veteran team competing in their fifth 48 Hour Film Project, felt the pressure of past movies weighing down on them. “I felt that it was more stressful,” says Rebecca Conner, a member of Pixel Pear. “We made this great movie last year, and since then we’ve lost about half the people we work with.” To make up for this loss, Conner and a teammate, Eric Mittan, both of whom work in the news business, recruited some coworkers. While this solved some of their problems, it also brought a few worries. “Because we had more people excelling in production, we had to worry about finding actors,” says Mittan. Eventually, with a successful strategy of writing in the car directly after the kickoff, editing film right away and solid teamwork, they worked it out. They even managed to get a little sleep.            

As the hours continued on, other teams were experiencing different emotions. Red Razor Media, an emerging team in the 48 Hour Film Project, was feeling focused and driven. “I think the fast paced-nature of the 48 Hour Film Contest had me more focused on getting the job done, rather than worrying about what everyone would think of me and my work,” says Jason Adolphson, member of Red Razor Media. Of course, there were also worries. With a limited network, Adolphson and a team member, Omar O’hara, spent time brainstorming and collaborating multiple ideas. Eventually, with the help of O’hara’s networking skills, Red Razor Media was able to secure actors and locations to shoot. “Everything flowed like magic and we shot the whole project within 10 hours,” says Adolphson.            

Sunday night at 7 p.m., after brainstorming, shooting, editing, tweaking and perfecting their art for 48 hours, the teams turn in their tapes. What’s done is done. May the best team win.

Feel like seeing the films created during the 48 Hour Film Project? Starting tonight, you can.

The premiere screenings start tonight and run through Thursday at the Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar) with showings at 7 p.m & 9 p.m. The Best-of Screening is June 14 at 7 p.m., also at the Tivoli. Tickets for all showings are $9, and can be purchased online. The winner of the STL competition will be awarded a trophy, and their film will be screened at the 48 Hour Film Project Filmapalooza in 2013. For more information, visit 48hourfilm.com/stlouis.

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