48Hour film fest heats up
Do not be alarmed if you see pirates on the harbour, bandits on the footpath or breakdancers in the park this weekend: the V48Hours film competition is on again.
From 7pm tonight, 225 teams will be frantically writing, filming, editing, and composing as they put together an original film in 48 hours.
The number of teams who enter has continually increased in the nine years the competition has been running in Wellington, and is up from 185 last year.
Wellington city manager Dan Slevin said the growth in the compeition was "astounding" and the quality of the finalists was improving, making it increasingly challenging for teams to wow the judges.
"Every year I think it can't possibly get any bigger, there can't be any more people who want to take part," he said.
Where once the heats could be run in four sessions over two days, it now took more than a week for the 19 heats to take place.
That meant the judges had an increasingly difficult task to whittle the pack down to a shortlist of finalists.
"The advice I give to teams ... is assume everybody had the same first idea you have had. Try to go further with it, be more imaginative."
Each film is given one of 12 genres and every year there are particular components that must be included. In previous years there have been specific characters, props and lines of dialogue.
These will be announced tonight shortly before 7pm, when the competition officially begins.
The teams must ensure their films are in before the deadline of 7pm on Sunday or face disqualification.
Last year's Wellington winners, the Couch Kumaras, are feeling the pressure to make another great film this year.
Finn O'Connor, 17, said it was rare for a team to consistently do well in the competition but they hoped to buck that trend. "It would be great to prove it was not a one-off thing, but we're trying not to have any expectations."
Their movie last year, Sketch, was filmed at Makara and featured a magical artist who could draw things which came to life.
The Dominion Post