Wednesday, Jul 31 2013 05:00 PM

Making movies in fast forward for 48 Hour Film Project

BY CAMILLE GAVIN Contributing writer

As if writing, directing and producing a short film isn't enough of a challenge, try doing the whole thing in only 48 hours.

Yet that's what Bakersfield attorney Clayton Campbell and his team hope to do this weekend as entrants in the Los Angeles 48 Hour Film Project.

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"I did one with my brother last year in Nashville -- it was three minutes too long but it was a good learning experience -- and I thought it would be fun to do one here."

-- Clayton Campbell, Bakersfield attorney and 48 Hiour Film Project entrant

"I did one with my brother last year in Nashville -- it was three minutes too long but it was a good learning experience -- and I thought it would be fun to do one here," he said. "I like writing and telling stories so this is another outlet for that."

Although participants are encouraged to be creative, there are some pretty rigid guidelines.

For instance, starting point is at 7 p.m. Friday in Los Angeles and the filmmaking team must deliver a finished 4- to 7-minute film by 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Deliver it one minute late and your film won't be considered; it also must be the required length, not a second more or less.

"First you draw a genre out of a hat -- last year ours was 'period piece,'" Campbell said. "That was hard to do because of the costumes, so we set it two centuries in advance with the author writing a story about today."

To get them started on their genre, each team gets a prop, a character and line that must be used in the film.

Once the local filmmakers decide the story they want to tell, Campbell will start writing the script.

Any team, regardless of skill level, is eligible to participate in the competition.

The attorney has already assembled a cast of about seven local actors with the help of Danielle Radon. He also has most of the equipment he needs including three cameras as well as editing software.

"We have an expanded variety of tools at work because my partner (Jesse Whitten) and I make our own commercials," he said. "We'll start shooting Friday night and hope by the end of the day on Saturday we'll have the filming done."

Running time for the film must include the title, screen credits and copyright notices for any music or stock footage used.

"I used to work at a printing company and I learned a lot about graphic arts," Campbell said. "So I can put in all the credits and things like that."

Once all that is done, he'll send the film to his brother Ben Campbell, a sound engineer in Nashville who will add music and other sound effects to the movie.

By midday Sunday when Campbell hopes to get the finished product back from his brother, he will transfer it to a disc and drive to L.A. to deliver the film to a designated theater by the 7:30 p.m. deadline.

Films that meet all the requirements will be shown in a movie theater in Los Angeles within the next few weeks.

Launched in 2001 in Washington, D.C., as a competition among friends by filmmakers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston, The 48 Hour Film Project is now the world's largest timed filmmaking competition according to its website.

This year they anticipate that it will involve more than 60,000 people on six continents.

In addition to Los Angeles, the 2013 tour will make stops in New York City, Johannesburg, Paris, Beijing, London, Mumbai and more than 100 other cities from March through October.

In each city where the project is held, a panel of judges will select the "Best Film of the City." Other awards usually given on the local level include those for directing, writing, cinematography, editing, acting, musical score, sound design and special effects.

Grand prize on a global basis is $5,000 and screening of the winning film at the Cannes Film Festival in France and the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas.

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