With the influx of technology and the mass appeal of going viral, filmmaking is as competitive as ever thanks to the digital world. Because of this, more and more people are looking to get involved in the industry by creating their own digital films to be viewed on Youtube or other various platforms. One organization and contest, the 24 Hour Film Race, has pushed Filmmakers to the limit of their creativity and endurance since 2002. As one of the largest film competitions in the world, this contest will once again bring filmmakers to their creative apex or failure come May 30-31.
The 24 Hour Film Race promises to bring teams of filmmakers together, where only one group will be named the main winner. In addition, the top team will earn $2,500 as well as a plethora of production software for use in their future films.
The software presented to the winner includes mocha Pro, a utility that handles visual effects and planar tracking; it also will include its plug-ins TrackX and SliceX. One copy of Vegas Pro 13, one of the top non-linear video and audio editors, will also be awarded. To help give future films that extra polish, two Red Giant products, Keying Suite and Color Suite, will be handed out as well. Finishing off the prizes is a copy of the MovieSlate app that will help enable filmmakers an easier way to log footage.
The contest also will have prizes for seven runner-ups. Like other contests, prizes will be trimmed down for these other groups.
How the film race works is that every team must register online at filmracing.com, along with a $115 fee. From there, each team must wait until the evening of May 30 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, where three prompts will be sent in an email.
First, every team will be given the same theme. For example, last year’s contest had every team do a short film on time travel. The final two prompts are that of an action and prop, which will not be the same for every group. For instance, last year’s winner Tulips in Time was given the action of crumpling a piece of paper in conjunction with an egg as a prop.
Since it is a 24 hour contest, each team will be given until 10:00 p.m. EST on May 31 to complete the project. Considering each group has to write, shoot and edit their film, there is a maximum of three minutes and thirty seconds mandatory for the short. No minimum length is required.
The organization has also put in place strict guidelines that must be followed in order to have a qualifying submission. First and foremost, no creative work including writing, shooting, music composition or editing may be done prior to the start of the contest.
What teams are encouraged to do is to organize their squad. They can recruit people on their team including actors. They may also lock down possible locations. Another common strategy is for teams to meet and schedule a breakdown of steps to be followed during the 24 hours.
In addition to submitting the film, teams must also submit release forms for crew, actors, music, art and location digitally.
The difference between winners and losers in these film races has everything to do with organization and endurance. Having every team member awake during the 24 hour period could be disastrous. This is why a group will often departmentalize its people into screenwriting, production and editing. Another hint, like that of the college student doing an all-nighter, is to frequent the usage of energy drinks and coffee. Without these strategies, these short films oftentimes can be rushed endeavors.
Winning a film contest is no simple feat. Those who enter a creative and organizational contest, such as the 24 Hour Film Race, are filmmakers who need to be pushed ,while having to limit their vivid imaginations in order to succeed. Those who do manage to win will not only garner a collection of film-related products but will receive the recognition among their peers.
By Simon Mounsey
24 Hour Film Race