Tough to keep cat out of the movie

Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014
48 hours
CHARLIE GATES/FAIRFAX NZ
SNAP SHOT: Picton Pictures team members John Cowie, left, and Daniel Tobin at the end of a very long day of film-making for the 48Hours competition.

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I am writing this through the fuzzy veil of deep lethargy.

The symptoms of sleep deprivation come in waves. One moment I'm fine, the next I'm dribbling on myself.

The reason I'm feeling this way is because, over the weekend, I was awake for 43 hours out of 49.

And the reason I was so rarely in bed was because I was making a short movie for the 48Hours film competition.

The annual competition gives thousands of film-makers just 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a short film. The teams are given a genre, a line of dialogue and a prop that has to appear in the final film. You are released at 7pm on Friday and have to return at 7pm on Sunday with your finished film on a USB stick, like some kind of strange film-obsessed homing pigeon.

It's not easy. In fact, it is very hard.

However you approach it, making a film in just 48 hours is complex, mind-bending and just possible enough to keep you going.

And then there are the mild hallucinations that come with lack of sleep. For some reason, I kept on seeing my cat out the corner of my eye, only to turn my head and realise she was not there. Not exactly Hunter S Thompson, but odd.

Our Picton Pictures team has competed in various forms for about seven years, but I have to say this was one of the hardest we have experienced.

Trying to come up with a satisfying movie ending at 3am is always a slightly panic-inducing, but exhilarating moment.

But one of the best things about the competition is the finish line. Sporty people are lucky enough to meet every weekend and celebrate their passion together. They can bask in the glory of putting the ball in the onion bag, or whatever it is sporty people do.

But for those that dwell in the dark, 48Hours is a rare chance for like-minded movie-lovers to come together and celebrate their passion. It's heartening to discover a community of people who love making movies. I've met some of my closest friends from competing in 48hours.

And on the Sunday night we cheer each other across the finish line. For a brief moment, we are a supportive community of reckless creativity.

It feels good to know we are not alone.

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