Friday, August 6, 2010

South Florida filmmakers get a challenge

Miami filmmaking aficionados will be put to the test as the 48 Hour Film Project begins on Friday

Think you can make a film in two days?

The 10th annual 48 Hour Film Project does.

The project -- which visits almost 90 cities worldwide -- is coming to Miami for the sixth year from Friday to Sunday, and challenges South Florida residents to create three- to seven-minute films within 48 hours.

``It's doable, but filmmaking is a very labor-intensive process,'' said the project's producer, Cathleen Dean.

Thirty-seven teams with four to 14 members apiece have signed up.

No experience is required, but participants must use their own equipment and work from their own homes or studios.

Each team will be given a prop, a character and a line of dialogue they must incorporate into their films. Last year, Dean said, the prop was a loaf of bread.

All genres -- including comedy, drama, fantasy and silent -- will be assigned on Friday.

Films will be screened and judged. The best film will then compete at Filmapalooza, the national awards ceremony. Awards include best film, best use of prop, best actor, best cinematography and best directing.

Deadlines are strict. Films submitted even one minute late on Sunday will be disqualified, although they will still be screened.

``And we will continue to celebrate their work,'' Dean said. Participants range in profession and film expertise. Some are professionals, others are amateurs or students looking for their debuts in filmmaking. Others are lawyers or schoolteachers who are film aficionados.

Each team chooses its own name. Some of those already in the competition are People In Trees, Alarming Karma, and Undigested Corn.

Patrick Louis-Pierre, 26, a film student, said he decided to join the project because he wanted to put to the test the filmmaking skills he is learning at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He and almost 15 other students form the team VP&B (Video Production & Broadcasting).

``We could put our names out there and show that this is what we learned and this is how good we are,'' he said.

This will be the fourth time 28-year-old Serge Dorsainvil of Miami Gardens has participated.

Last year, Dorsainvil's team had to rewrite their entire script after realizing it wasn't coming together.

``It was a rush. It was kind of crazy,'' he said. ``Sometimes, you have this whole plan and it doesn't go accordingly.''

But it's all part of the experience.

``It's a delight, it's fun,'' Dorsainvil said. ``When you're a passionate filmmaker, that's what you wake up to.''

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