fresh filter top pick: 48-hour film project

Imagine having just 48 hours to make movie magic. That's what the adrenaline-fueled 48-Hour Film Project is all about.
Taking place in 120 cities around the world, the Cleveland version of the 48-Hour Film Project is in its sixth year. Producer Brian Bowers says the competition is already maxed out at 42 teams -- approximately 600 participants -- who have just two days to write, shoot, edit and score a short film, roughly four to seven minutes in length.
Here's how it works:
Filmmakers show up to Anatomy nightclub Friday night for the kick-off bash, where they'll draw a genre from a hat. That's when they find out if they'll be producing a drama, comedy, western, detective, horror, romance or other type of flick.
What's more, each filmmaker must include the same character, prop and line of dialogue, which is also revealed at the kick-off bash. For example, all films -- be they slasher or romance -- must include Hugh Simon the Bouncer, a large suitcase, and the line, "When you say it like that, it's almost poetry."
All teams must turn in their completed films 48 hours later, at the drop-off Sunday night.
"The first year I was a little apprehensive going into it," explains Bowers, who has been involved with the Cleveland competition for five years. "But each year I'm surprised by the creativity, and even from a technical standpoint. The filmmakers never cease to surprise me."
Public screenings will take place at Tower City Cinemas on August 1 and 2, when they also will be judged by film pros and audience members. A best-of screening will take place on August 9.
"This is more about the love of filmmaking," notes Bowers. "Nobody is getting rich or getting discovered off a short film. Sure, it's great for the portfolio, and great to win awards, but this is more about whether they can do it in two days. It's a wild ride."

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Read more articles by Douglas Trattner.

Douglas Trattner is a fulltime freelance writer, editor and author. In addition to acting as Managing Editor of Fresh Water, he is the Dining Editor of Cleveland Scene, author of “Moon Handbooks: Cleveland,” and co-author with Michael Symon on two New York Times best-selling cookbooks. His work has appeared in Food Network magazine, Miami Herald, Globe and Mail, Wine & Spirits, Cleveland Magazine and others. He lives in Cleveland Hts. with his wife, two dogs, five chickens and 20,000 honeybees.
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