Case study: Sci-Fi Drama Short Film for BFI Annual Sci-Fi 48-Hour Film Competition
Sci-fi-London and the BFI created the 48 Hour Film Challenge to prove that Sci-Fi doesn't have to be expensive. Our challenge was to make something within the deadline that everyone involved could be proud of.
Case study: 'The Pete' - 5 minute film
Film: ‘The Pete’ - Sci-Fi-London 48 Hour Film Challenge 2017
We created this short film for the Sci-fi-London Film Challenge - writing, filming, editing and submitting a 5 minute science fiction film within 48 hours! We got to work with an enthusiastic and highly experienced cast and crew, to produce a complex plot under intense time pressure!
After discovering that the reason for a lack of sci-fi films was due to directors claiming: "we don't have that kind of budget", Sci-fi-London aimed to prove them wrong and the 48 Hour Film Challenge was born. Our challenge was to make something within the deadline that everyone involved could be proud of.
We were given four key elements to make our film: the TITLE, aka 'The Pete'; DIALOGUE that one of the characters must say: "How can we keep this a secret?"; a PROP that must be seen in the film: a character removing headphones; and an optional scientific THEME or idea: a New Psychotropic drug creates telepathy/telekinesis.
How we helped
We were so lucky to work with a talented cast and experienced crew (three of whom were previous participants in the 48 Hour Film Challenge - their insight was invaluable). Other helpful factors included micro locations within one building and contrasting locations nearby; the ability to work at speed with the writing, filming and editing; and enough visual coverage on the day to enrich choice during the edit.
We made a standalone 5 minute film that our cast and crew can use for their show reels. We await the results from the judging panel with bated breath - watch this space!
Learnings that may be relevant to your firm
Here are a few of our own learnings from the making of suite of explainer videos. Hopefully they can help you prepare for your next production.
- It's entirely possible to work at high speed if you're prepared to 'run and gun', i.e. don't be rigid in your approach and be open to change.
- Creativity is easy if you have a talented production team - find the right writer!
- Coverage is key - shoot far more than you need, if possible. We used 2 camera units.
- For maximum creativity ensure your cast and crew are experienced in collaboration - it really helps.