Sam Goldblatt and Louise Knowles brought The 48 Hour Film Project to Scotland in 2008 and the event has been producing award-winning shorts in fun-filled, adrenaline-fuelled weekends ever since. On the blog this week they tell us how it works, their highlights and the dates for the project in 2014.

 The 48 Hour Film Project is the world’s largest timed-film competition, occurring every year in over 125 cities, 30 countries and 6 continents, with over 4400 teams taking part!

I brought this fun-filled competition to Scotland in 2008, and never expected it to take off in the way that it did. Probably the most surprising thing was that when I went to look for an Assistant Producer, I found a cute local lassie for the job, and now we are married! Louise and I expected this American-style project to be a tough sell here, but everyone went mad for it right away, and we have had to turn people away every single year because there is just too much interest.

It’s simple: teams meet up on a Friday night and are given a character, prop and line of dialogue. They also each draw a film genre from a hat. They then have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit their mini-masterpieces, turning in the finished product on Sunday night. It all takes place over a weekend and it’s lots of fun. All films are given public screenings, which often sell out the week after the filmmaking. Industry professionals serve as judges and prizes are given out at a swanky awards party in several categories.

My favourite films are the wild and crazy ones where you can tell the teams had an amazing weekend. Many of our films have been screened at major film festivals and have gone on to win other prizes. The winning filmmaker receives a free trip to Filmapalooza, the international finals, where all 48HFP filmmakers converge at a major film fest in the US. We have seen past participants go on to start their own media businesses or get professional work in the industry.

The most rewarding thing about producing this project for 6 years has been watching teams grow and progress. We have seen teams make films starring their family on their iPhones, and the next year they are using professional equipment and professional actors. It has also been a privilege to get industry professionals like Michael Hines, director of Still Game, on board, to see what kind of talent is out there.

It got to be such a success in Edinburgh that we had to expand to Glasgow, and it’s been a big hit out West too. We’ll be back in 2014, in May in Edinburgh, and Glasgow in October.

Edinburgh-based actor, Andy Nicholls who participated in the project in 2012 said:

“The 48 Hour Film Project, while a huge amount of fun, is also frantic and inspiring to see what can be achieved in a short space of time. The limitations of 48 hours forces innovation and creativity from all involved, producing some amazing short films. It’s a great way to test how you respond in a pressured situation.

For me, The 48 Hour Film Project has been a fantastic opportunity and brought me good friends and connections in the Edinburgh film community.”

Martin Hopkins