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Local Filmmakers Showcased At San Diego International Film Festival
KPBS Midday Edition Segments / May 12, 2021
48 Hour Film Project and the San Diego International Film Festival have been partnering for years to highlight short films made by local filmmakers. This Friday at noon the best of the pandemic produced 48 Hour short films will be available in a virtual Shorts Fest.
Speaker 1: 00:00 48 hour film project and the San Diego international film festival have been partnering for years to highlight short films made by local filmmakers. This Friday at noon, the best of the pandemic produced 48 hour short films will be available in a virtual shorts Fest, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando Amando speaks with 48 hour film project organizer, Dwayne Trammell and filmmaker, Christina Ruby.
Speaker 2: 00:29 Dwayne, the 48 hour film project is going to be having a special screening showcase at the San Diego international film festival this year. So for people who may not be familiar, explain what a 48 hour film project is all about.
Speaker 3: 00:45 Well, a 48 hour film project is in its 20th year. It's a worldwide filmmaking competition where teams of filmmakers in and certain cities around the world. There's about 130 or so cities on a competition weekend teams of filmmakers meet. And they're given a, a line of dialogue and character in a prop and they draw random film genre to different films, genres, and they have 48 hours from 7:00 PM on Friday to 7:30 PM on Sunday, which is an additional half hour. That was historically for travel time. Of course, these days we kind of do it electronically, but they still get the extra half hour. So they have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit, and turn it into complete film. And then the films are judged locally with the winning film, going on to film a Palooza, which has held in some cities around the world, somewhere from all those films, a winning film is chosen as the grand champion.
Speaker 2: 01:42 So Christina for a filmmaker, why do you want to put yourself through the ordeal of trying to crank something out in just 48 hours? What's the fun or the challenge of that? That's actually the best part of it is that, you know what I like to tell people. So when I put out the movie that we made, I like to tell them if you think it's amazing, we made this in 48 hours. And if you don't think it's great, just remember we made this in 48 hours. It's like buys you a lot of flexibility and credence from people that they're like, Oh wow, you made this in 48 hours. That's amazing. But that's part of the appeal for me is that you get basically carte blanche to do whatever you want to do, because there's really no downside to doing something awesome. In that timeframe, like with my film specifically, we've made it a one-shot, which is where the bulk of it.
Speaker 2: 02:29 There's no edits because I wanted a thing that I was like, we're going to get it. Like we rehearsed all day. We five of our seven minutes as a one-shot because I just wanted to see it and have it all come together. But yeah, I'm not in it for the long haul. I want the instant gratification. And in running this program, what is it that you see in filmmakers that comes out when you force them to kind of work with these restrictions of time and character and a dialogue line and you know, a prop, uh, the,
Speaker 3: 03:00 The single biggest thing is the creativity. A side note to the creativity is just the teamwork and how everyone just loves doing this competition. I know as a, as a film student, I did it right after I graduated San Diego state. And I feel like I learned as much doing a 48 hour film project as I did in any of the film projects that I did in school, the compression of time forces you to be creative and to make decisions very quickly.
Speaker 2: 03:33 And Christina, your film that is going to screen is called soundbites. So what were the parameters you had to work with in terms of character and prop and line? I think we'd use a musical instrument as our prop, which lucky for me, one of my cast members played the violin and not very well. So it actually worked out perfectly for what I needed it for. And then we had to use a character, which was, um, I know we used Rocky, but I think you could also use Raquel. And then the line was, did you wash your hands? Cause I think we were in mid COVID at the time and everybody was mindful of that thing. So in the beginning I bemoaned the fact that I had to use all of those things because I'm like, ah, it's holding me back creatively, but it ended up, I actually really like that they're in there, there's little sort of Easter eggs, except when you put it out for people who are outside of the 48, you have to sort of give them context of why this person is playing a violin in the middle of whatever it is that you're talking about, because it really doesn't make sense outside of the 48.
Speaker 2: 04:36 And one of the things that you're also restricted by is you draw a genre.
Speaker 2: 04:42 Yes. So, um, and they give you two. And so, uh, ours this year where the, it was horror and film noir. So I took the horror route. I actually, I took liberties with the horror because it, for me, it was more of a, mine was a movie within a movie. So they were filming a zombie movie, which was a horror. And then in addition to that, it was supposed to be the main characters, like worst nightmare, worst day, sort of like his life falling apart. So it wasn't traditional horror and that you've see like ghosts and zombies and all that stuff. So I sort of took liberties with that are all the films that are showing at the San Diego international film festival where these shot during pandemic, or also outside of pandemic,
Speaker 3: 05:26 Everything that's shot was shot during the pandemic. For sure. Yeah. I want to make a comment about the prop because this is something that we struggle with every year is having a fun prop that can not be used as a weapon, not easily used as a weapon because so many teams want to use their prop as a weapon. So every year, like one year we have marshmallows and of course someone died by marshmallow, if you can imagine that even happening. So, Oh yeah. All the films were shot during the pandemic. They were all shot last year at the height of the pandemic actually. And, uh, we actually, uh, you know, speaking about the pandemic, we do have guidelines in place and actually an online certification that the filmmakers can get the, say that they are doing safe set practices,
Speaker 2: 06:12 Going to be having your next event in terms of people actually making the films.
Speaker 3: 06:15 We're looking at September this year and the same with last year, because we were hoping that we would get to a point where theaters would open up last year and we would be able to have at least some form of in-person screening. And, you know, if we can't get a theater then will be online, like it was last year. And I guess mid case scenario is that we do a limited in-person screening with an also a online presence as well.
Speaker 2: 06:45 And Dwayne, if people want to find out about participating in the 48 hour film project, where can they get that information?
Speaker 3: 06:51 So if they go to www.fortyeighthourfilm.com/san Diego, that's where they can find out information about the competition right now. It says that no dates have been chosen yet. That will be updated as soon as, uh, we, we know exactly what we're going to be doing this year. I'm also want to mention for beginning filmmakers, we encourage beginning filmmakers. And we, if you email us and tell us that your beginning filmmaker will work to get you hooked up with a mentor, somebody who's done it before to help you through that process. So it's a great, we have a high school teams that do it. And even our youngest filmmaker who formed his own team was nine years old and was very close to winning best film. The, he did a great film his first time. Of course, yeah. He was working with his family and everything, but he was the team leader at nine years old. It was amazing.
Speaker 2: 07:46 Well, great. Well, thank you both very much for talking about the 48 hour film project show.
Speaker 3: 07:51 Of course. Yeah. Thanks for having us. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Speaker 1: 07:56 That was Beth haka, Mondo speaking with Dwayne Trammell and Christina Ruby. The 48 hour film project shorts block is available online this Friday at noon through the San Diego international film festival.