Camera ready

Shoot out: The annual 48 Hour Film Festival is a super fun, super grueling process.

When the director calls "Action!" at the 48 Hour Film Project kickoff, it's no joke. Everyone involved, from writers of costumers to actors and camera crew better move at top speed because that 48 hour deadline is hard and fast. Short films are expected to be scripted, shot, edited and submitted in two whirlwind days.

This year, the global challenge will be answered in almost 125 cities, resulting in 4,000 films. It returns to Asheville this weekend with teams meeting on Friday, June 21, to begin the super-grueling, super-fun process.
      On Friday, local film crews will meet at Asheville Brewing Company where they will be assigned a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue, all of which must be used in their films. That’s tricky enough, but with no prep time to scout locations, do hair and makeup or work up a good Transylvanian accent, teams have to hit the ground running. Even preproduction counts against that 48 hour time-limit, and films submitted a mere minute late are disqualified.

Locally, the project has resulted in wining films such as Hometown Security by Athos ('05), Sock and Awe by Team Smokey ('06), Cosmo of 1932 by We Make Pictures Move ('07), Serial Love by Blue Ridge Community College ('08), Nostalgia by Pandemonium ('09), Touched by Angels by The Young Adults ('10), “The First Apple” by Team UNCA ('11) and last year's Hickory Dickory Dock by Out of State Bank. Beyond best film, prizes are awarded in categories such as best use of character, best use of prop, best musical score and best special effects.

Teams average about 13 members but, according to the project's website, have been as small as a one-person actor/director/camera operator and as large as 116 people with 30 horses (that was in Albuquerque). In Asheville, teams are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited and registration is $175.

Not ready for your close up? Audience members are needed, too, for the screenings, and for selecting winners in the two audience award categories. See the full schedule, above. More info at


• Friday, June 21: Competition kickoff from 5:30-7 p.m. Teams meet at Asheville Brewing Company's Coxe Avenue location to receive details for their films.
• Sunday, June 23: All teams must submit films by 7:30 p.m. at Asheville Brewing Company's Coxe Avenue location.
• Wednesday, June 25: Screenings at Asheville Brewing Company's Merrimon Avenue location at 4, 7 and 10 p.m.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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