48 Hour Film Making

It may sound crazy, but making a short film in 48 hours can be done! In fact, there is a competition in New Zealand called the 48 hour film festival, which I have done a couple of times and I’m here to give you a few tips. Whether you’re going to compete or just do it for fun, read on!


Making a film in such a short amount of time requires real commitment, it’s full of late nights, long hours and not much sleep. So before you get stuck into it, make sure everyone in your team is 100% ready for the next 48 hours. Here’s what happened to my team my second attempt at this;

First things first, we didn’t have a particularly large group to begin with, but when someone (who happens to own the camera) drops out the NIGHT before, it’s not ideal. Already this is not convenient until the next day, with no explanation, another team members basically drops off the face of the earth. So we’ve lost two people and we, luckily, manage to find another person to join who has a camera but what a nightmare!


So here’s what you should do: double and triple check your team is still up for it so no one drops out last minute. When you are looking for people to join your team, think about what they could bring to the group, can they act, edit, film? People can double up on jobs so don’t make it hard on yourself by trying to find one person for each separate job! For example, I acted, wrote the screenplay and edited. So now you have your team together, get ready for a fun filled long ass 48 hours!


The next step is working on your story and screenplay. I suggest working together to sort your story, this way you know for sure that you’re all on the same page on what kind of film you’re making! When it comes to writing the script, select one or two (maximum of three) people to write the screenplay so you don’t have suggestions coming at you from a all directions, this will make the screenwriting process easier and faster!

A tip specifically for if you are competing in the 48 hour film festival. Before you start forming your story, make sure you actually know what genre you have (and also the additional compulsory details) because if you get that one detail wrong, you will HAVE TO START AGAIN. This sounds like a bit of a dumb mistake and admittedly, it is, but it happened to us and it was so frustrating!



So you have a great team, perfect story and awesome screenplay but now you need to move it from paper to screen with the right equipment. Truthfully, all you really need is a video camera and editing software. You don’t need to use fancy lighting. green screen and especially not effects (as great as this would look, it takes too long). The camera could be a simple as your phone to a hand held DSLR (my personal favourite to use) and the editing software doesn’t have to be complicated what-so-ever. You can use windows movie maker if you want, I started on CyberLink PowerDirector (good for beginner editors) and now use Adobe Premier Pro. That is the basic equipment you need, no need to be fancy! The further you go in your filmmaking, the more equipment you can use!


If you have anymore tips for fast filmmaking or even just for beginner filmmakers, put it down in the comments below!

Live Long And Prosper – E


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