Film Producers Club to host annual 48 Hour Film Festival

48 hour film fesitval logo

Courtesy of Caitlin Yamada

48 hour film fesitval logo

Meg Grice

The Film Producers Club is hosting its annual 48 Hour Film Festival at Iowa State. Within a weekend, filmmakers will write, shoot, edit and upload their short films entirely from scratch.

Contestants have nowhere near the time or resources needed to produce the next “Titanic” or “Lord of the Rings,” but there are plenty of opportunities to showcase their talent in an unusual form.

Starting at 9 p.m. April 5, all individuals involved with the film festival will receive a mass email upping the stakes of the challenge. The email specifies an item and a line of dialogue that must be used at some point during the film. For example, last year, teams were required to use a pair of rubber gloves and the phrase, “Don’t be scared, I just need you to come with me for a minute.”

The line of dialogue does not necessarily have to reference the item, but the item cannot act as a part of the background or scenery. It must be incorporated into the film in some fashion.

The entire process of creating the film must happen within the 48 hour time frame. No previously created material is allowed to be used for the film.

The short film can be anywhere from four to 15 minutes long. Hard copies of the films must be turned in at the Memorial Union food court by 10 p.m. April 7 through a flash drive or hard drive and must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m. to YouTube as well.

The festival is open to the public; participants don’t need to be members of the Film Producers Club, nor are they required to be Iowa State students. Beginning around four to five years ago, the club has seen five to seven groups participate each year.

Producers can use their own media equipment or borrow from another outside party. Members of Film Producers Club can rent out equipment from the club if necessary. Nonmembers have the option of checking out equipment through Iowa State Information Technology Services.

Judging and screening of the short films will take place 7 p.m. April 10 in Carver 0001. This event is free and open to the public. The panel is comprised of both professionals and students; most have experience with cinematography.

Filmmakers will compete for cash prizes, first place will be awarded $30, second place $25 and third place $20. There will be additional recognition and prizes for Best Director, Best Screenwriter and Best Leading Actor or Actress.

Caitlin Yamada, the club’s vice president, recommends directors to have a plan in mind before filming. She said coming up with an idea for the script is the most challenging aspect, especially with the required item and line of dialogue.

“Usually the prop and dialogue don’t match up perfect into some sort of genre,” Yamada said. “So, the script writing process is definitely the most difficult because it still has to make sense. It can’t just be thrown in there, it really has to be incorporated if you want it to be a good film and if you want it to win.”

Yamada also recommends allocating enough time to carry out all creative elements. Some producers wait until the day after to start brainstorming while some jump right into action as soon as the required elements are delivered via email.

Those still wanting to participate still have time to sign up. Contact Caitlin Yamada at [email protected] to enter the contest, and include all members participating (director, actors, etc.) and their emails in the message.

More information can be found on the FPC’s student organization page at

Caitlyn Yamada is an editor for the Iowa State Daily.