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Buffalo's 48-Hour Film Project to Premiere Short Features this Weekend

Two Days and Done
Buffalo’s 48-Hour Film Project to Premiere Short Features this Weekend

The 48 Hour Film project, a wild and sleepless weekend in which a small team of filmmakers write, shoot, and edit a movie in just 48 hours, took place in Buffalo this past weekend. Teams randomly drew the genre their film had to belong to from a hat, and then were assigned a character, prop, and line of dialogue that had to be included as well. Over a hundred filmmakers from Buffalo and Western New York worked tirelessly to complete their movies before deadline. A total of 23 short features were submitted, and the filmmakers involved are excited to premiere their hard work this Saturday and Sunday at the North Park Theater.

Gabe Simon gives direction to Bailey Humiston.
FIlmmakers Gabe Simon and Alaa "Zak" Noweihed co-direct the 48-hour film "Therefore I Am."

“It was a crazy weekend!” said Buffalo filmmaker Gabe Simon of Team BeWILdered Media Productions, whose 48 hour film this year, Therefore I Am, he co-directed alongside Alaa “Zak” Noweihed. Their team comprises just a small handful of the many extremely talented and dedicated filmmakers who pushed themselves above and beyond in the name of creating a movie in 48 hours.

“The process is incredibly demanding, both physically and mentally, on the entire cast and crew. After writing our screenplay all of Friday night we started filming at 7:30am on Saturday and ended up shooting non-stop until we wrapped at 10:30am Sunday. From there we began editing and worked up until the last minute before finally submitting the movie with only 11 minutes to spare before deadline.”

Simon’s experience during the process is not unique to him. Making any film is always a daunting undertaking, let alone having to do so in 48 hours.

“It’s amazing all the things that can go wrong in just 48 hours”, jokes Simon. We had a camera break, we had a crew member’s car get impounded, during the editing process we ran into difficulties with audio syncing that took hours out of the process. All the problems we ran into were just a few of the many difficulties faced by everyone involved in the 48 hour film project.”

For all the disadvantages presented by making a film in two days, there are also advantages to be had as well.

“I think the biggest challenges presented by the 48 hour film project are also the same things that can contribute to the finished films being really special, too. In a lot of instances there’s no way the ideas you would have conceived of in such a short time are the same that would make it on screen if one had months to shape a concept, mount a production, or edit a feature. As a filmmaker, one feels a real sense of urgency by being on such a short timeline. It forces one to be as resourceful as possible and leaves one feeling constantly motivated to push ahead during the process. Many of the best aspects of these films are a result of the spontaneity that comes out of that.”

This is Simon’s second year working on the 48 hour film project. His previous 48 hour film, Silenced, which he also co-directed with Noweihad, won the award for Best Feature at Buffalo’s 48 Hour film project last year. The winner of this year’s contest will be announced week after the premiere, while that film will be entered into the 48 Hour film project’s worldwide competition.

“Although the joy and pain of the 48 hour film project only lasts a couple days, the completed movies exist forever. After the experience you just feel an enormous amount of respect for your fellow filmmakers on every team, because you know first hand how hard it is getting to that point of finishing your movie. I think it’s safe to say everyone is a winner this year.”

The result of all the filmmakers’ blood, sweat, and tears can be seen for the first time at the North Park Theater this weekend. The shorts are divided into two separate groups. The Group A screening will take place Saturday at 11am, while the Group B screening will occur Sunday at 11am. The 48 Hour film project will also be raffling off a flyboard to one person at each screening as well. Tickets are just $10 and available at the door.

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