Films usually take months, sometimes years, to make. But with advances in digital technology, they no longer have to take that long. Something can be shot, cut and distributed within hours, no film processing or shipping required. Producers take their time by choice, to make sure the final product is high-quality.
And though the product is usually better when the filmmaker doesn't rush, creativity can thrive on a deadline. Time restrictions force people to not second-guess themselves, something that can be devastating to the creative process. The mad sort of genius that may have been cast aside as too risky on a longer timeline gets its chance and shines bright.
In 2001, a film contest was created to embrace that principle: The 48 Hour Film Project. Teams of filmmakers were given a genre, a prop, a line of dialog, a character's name and then had 48 hours to create a finished film from scratch. Originally a novelty, the idea has become an international phenomena, with competitions in more than 80 cities on five continents.
Other creative industries have embraced the idea as well. There are now 48-hour competitions for stage and fiction writing, video game development, design and even Frankenbike construction.
In 2010, i48, Boise's independent and unaffiliated version of the film contest, had more than 50 teams of filmmakers sprinting around the city shooting thrillers, animated musicals, love stories between a man and a butterfly net, mockumentaries about trying to read every book in the library and more. Exhausted, dark-eyed and rapturous, they brought their finished products to the event's organizers for screening at The Flicks and a chance at the $1,000 grand prize.
This year's contest promises to be just as exhausting and thrilling.
Interested filmmakers can still get in on the action until the start of the contest on Friday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. Registration packets and more information are available at thislovelymachine.com/idaho48.