It asks of its participants to write, design, shoot, and edit a short film within a forty-eight hour time period over one weekend once a year. The festival began this year on the 12th of August when teams received, from the festival’s organisers, the prompts they had to include in their short film. These prompts included the genre of their short film, a charter archetype, and shot type, a prop, and a sound effect that must be included in the film. Failing to meet these instructions results in instant disqualification and the inability to be nominated for any awards.
This year King’s College had two teams, both spurring from the Media Club led by Mrs Johnson the King’s Media Studies teacher, participate in the festival. Both teams would be nominated for the Best School category in the Auckland regional finals, with one of the teams, named Team Frederick after the Media classroom’s resident prop skeleton, eventually winning the prize at the official 48Hr Film Festival screening on the 5th of October in front of an audience of veteran filmmakers at the Sky City theatre.
The team that would eventually win in their category began their filmmaking process in Orewa, where they had set up an amateur film studio for the forty-eight hour duration. Receiving their genre and items at 7:00pm on the Friday they soon got to work brainstorming their film. The mandatory elements the team had to work with were the genre of a swap film, a genre consisting of films like the Freaky Friday franchise. The character needed to be a ‘gatekeeper’, the shot had to be either from a bird’s eye view or worm’s eye view, the prop was a sign, and the sound effect was a whisper. These prompts can be interpreted by any team in any form, they merely have to be in the finished film. After roughly three hours of brainstorming the team’s group of writer’s finalised a script that included all the elements and then went to sleep eager for filming the next day.
After an early morning rise, to make the most of the daylight for shooting, the team got to work. The team actors arrived, cameras and boom poles were set up, and the cinematographers began rolling. After a rocky start involving some glitchy camera equipment the team got underway. Their impromptu sets were filled with tantalising performances from the team of actors, cinematographers working anxiously behind the camera to get the ‘money shot’, and a team of writers making constant edits to maximise the script. The team of filmmakers eventually wrapped just in time as the sun set and the time for filming was up. The actors were farewelled and the time for editing began.
The task of the editor is one of the most overlooked and under appreciated areas of filmmaking. The editor has to comb through the many takes, extract the takes with the greatest performances, camera angles, and sound quality, and stitch them into a final film. Furthermore, the editor has a plethora of other tasks, such as standardising the sound, standardising the colours in every shot, and maintaining a sense of visual continuity throughout the whole movie. This all had to be completed in twenty four hours, by seven o’clock that evening, by a team of two hard working and committed editors hopped up on Coca Colas and jelly lollies. Eventually, the film was completed by the skin of the editor’s teeth with only fifty seconds to spare, but the team was able to send in their completed edit and share a collective sigh of relief.
This was the second year this team of students had competed in the Festival. In their first effort last year Team Frederick were nominated in the Best School and Best Use of Sound Effect categories, but unfortunately took home neither award. This year however, the Team was nominated and awarded the prize for Best School in the Auckland region for the film they named ‘The Swappening’. This allows the Team to progress to the next level of awards at the national level, competing for the Best School category, but this time nation-wide and at a ceremony to be held at the Civic Theatre. This round of competition is to be judged by a group of esteemed judges, including Lord of the Rings director Sir Peter Jackson. While the Team of budding filmmakers is excited to have come this far, we wish the greatest of luck to them for the nationals on the 17th of November.
Oscar Neville-White (Year 11, Averill)
Lily Klisser-Holroyd (Year 11, Taylor)
Riley Noonan (Year 11, Major)
Cooper Duff (Year 12, Marsden)
Matthew Somervaille (Year 11, Major)
Matthew Chen (Year 12, Averill)
Max Liebmann (Year 13, Averill)
and Aria Takle-Lee
Written by Max Liebmann