Levi Agee’s Screengems: 48 Hour Film Festival screening tonight

August 24, 2012

This didn’t make the newspaper again. Too many bad movies opening. Our Levi has had a busy week.

By Levi Agee
BDA Boy Wonder

What did you do last weekend? Odds are if you’re a filmmaker or video hobbyist in the Little Rock Area you competed in the 48 Hour Film Project.

I was lucky enough to host the event for the second time as a part of the Little Rock Film Festival’s year-long events and programming outreach. As you may know, the 48, as it’s known colloquially, is a two day marathon where teams from all over the world compete or just have fun making a five to seven minute film from scratch after receiving a random genre and a list of elements dictating a prop, line of dialogue and character each film should contain.

This weekend I was given an email from headquarters (some lovely people from Washington DC and New Mexico) with the super secretive elements for our city of Little Rock.

The character given was a singer named Tommy or Tammy Shuttles. For the most part many of the films that competed utilized the required character as their lead role, some only a cameo. Rarely do any of the films overlap in concepts but occasionally I’ve witnessed elements used in a similar way.

This year the prop was listed as “melon” so you can use your imagination on some of the methods of showing that on screen. Let’s just say some melons were put on people’s heads some on other parts of the body. It’s obvious and juvenile but it made me laugh. There is a certain kitsch factor to film festival competitions.

Most of the films entered don’t take themselves too seriously save the occasional drama or message film and that’s part of the fun and enjoyment of watching ten unique local films that were made on a shoestring budget. I love camp and when you’re forced to use a certain line of dialogue like “What do we have here?” it’s close to impossible for it to not sound forced or cliche.

Frankly that’s what the headquarters is thinking when they choose the line. Every year it’s something hackneyed like “I’ll take anything I can get,” or “Say it like you mean it, baby.” Those lines should come fairly natural right? The point is, it doesn’t matter. It’s fun to watch all the films back to back and see how they’re being used differently. You try and guess how they’ll use the elements as the film is going along and then an Aha moment where you say to yourself “Why didn’t I think of that,” or is that a line from another 48 Hour Film Project? 

The last night of premiere screenings is tonight at 7pm at the Riverdale Theater for Group C. Tickets are $7 at the door or you can buy them online at http://littlerock48hfp.eventbrite.com.

For more information you can email me at littlerock@48hourfilm.com 


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