Ruth and I took on the challenge of running the HP48Hours competition nationally again this year. We thought carefully about this commitment as we knew it would be 4 months of full-on work with some long days, sometimes into the night. After a bit of discussion we decided it would be good for our profile, a good chance to meet film-makers from all over the country and it's also my favourite event of the year, so why not jump head first into this unique challenge.
We started the competition with a new website and this was so needed! We were lucky to have street artist Mica Still onboard to create the 2018 Ape artwork. The brief was to create a team of Apes all wildly engaged in different filmmaking activities, this is what she came up with.
(Since then, Mica has had some fairly serious health problems, that is stopping her creating her art. She has a give-a-little page set up here, if you would like to help her out)
With our new website and rebranding sorted, we hit the ground running promoting the competition and getting as many registrations from teams as possible. We did most of the marketing in-house including the email marketing, video campaigns and social media. We commissioned this video 'What is the HP48Hours' with the help of our new and fairly talented Christchurch City Manager, Alexander Jones (A.J).
With our target of 556 registrations reached, we kicked into the shoot weekend on the 11th to the 13th May. We set the brief at 7pm on Friday in seven launch venues around the country and then sent our teams into the night to have a weekend of creativity, fun and film-making chaos. It really is a crazy moment watching everyones faces as you reveal the weekend's challenge.
After the shoot weekend, we got to the task of watching all of the (140!) Wellington films. There was a real mixed (USB) bag of films andI found it incredible seeing how the teams all interpreted the brief that was set by us, in their own way. The variety of stories that came back blew our minds.
We held the Wellington heats at the Paramount Cinema in Brooklyn and we got to meet a lot of the teams over these screenings. We announced a shortlist of the top 25 films after the heats, which simultanueously broke some hearts and elated other teams!
This year, we tried something new for announcing the City Finalists and the Grand Finalists by going on Facebook live and calling the finalist teams, one by one. This was super fun for us, but there were loads of people commenting on the livestream and nervously waiting for the call.
We had a few warm fuzzy moments, we were especially proud of 16 year old, Ilena Shadbolt who made the whole film by herself in 48-hours and it was really good! She had a great support network around her, supporting her. She took home the outstanding female filmmaker award in Wellington.
The Grand Finals was held at the Civic Theatre in Auckland, it was quite a challenge for us organising an event in a different city to the one we live in. But the evening was smooth and everyone had a great night.
Ruth and I upheld our promise of reviewing every 48hour film from Wellington this year, which was around 140 reviews. It was an epic undertaking but our teams were grateful for the feedback.
We have made some great friends throughout this competition and are embedded in the independant film-making community that 48Hours is known for, but now that the competition is wrapped up for the year, we are looking forward to getting our teeth into our next project.
Check out the winning films on the HP48hour website.