48 Hour Film Challenge 2012

48 Hour Film Challenge 2012 - Crowd in screen
For all the intrepid filmmakers, the SFL 48 Hour Film Challenge is over for another year as they stumbled into the Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus this morning in various stages of physical and mental collapse, although some were suspiciously spry and alert.

It has been an amazing year, with 368 teams signing up to take part, which is a really encouraging sign that British sci-fi filmmaking is alive and well, even if it is at this grassroots level, but with the enthusiasm of the filmmakers and the fantastic support from Vertigo Films we hope to remedy this.

In the end we had 161 entries submitted, either on DVD or uploaded using our sponsor Ubuntu One’s cloud server service. Although the number of completed films is down from last year, the overall quality of the entries is definitely up. Of course, technical failures are inevitable, from missing SMS and emails of titles at the start to renders failing, DVDs refusing to burn or uploads stalling. After four years of running this event, we have heard all the stories and excuses, the desperate phone calls and pleading emails, and now the addition of Facebook and Twitter there are even more modes of communication.

While the filmmakers were out toiling through the nights trying to come up with creative solutions to their sometimes diabolical combinations of title, prop and dialogue we were comfortably ensconced in the ivory tower at SCI-FI-LONDON central following the action on the #sfl48hr Twitter hashtag. Here’s some highlights:

@TheFaldor: Still keying for #sfl48hr all green screen performers should be bald next time!

@Hit_Delete: #sfl48hr - Smokey and the Bandit on in the background. All together now: 'We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there!'...
@squat_betty: So long as the internet doesn't collapse in on itself, my film is being shared on ubuntu as we speak...#sfl48hr #finished

@katiemacgregor: Home in a quiet house but sound hallucinations have taken over. I can still hear crew members in my head. #sfl48hr I don't know what is real

@charlettekilby: #sfl48hr resorted to drinking black coffee! Actually doesn't taste took bad with 2 sugars in it!! #suprising

@ArmyCrow: What’s with all the actors going to bed? #lightweights #splitters #sfl48hr

@JamieBarty: The good news... We have a final edit (ish)!! The bad news... it's 9 minutes long :/ Time to get those scissors out! #sfl48hr

@georgehulley: #sfl48hr my head is like mush right now. Lucky enough I have an insomniac on the team.

@RemnantsFilmUK #sfl48hr We've just filmed a family drama, now to add sci-fi

@davidstripinis: Haven’t heard from most of my friends doing #sfl48hr . I think they may all be dead now.

@ArmyCrow: That wasn't sleep, that was just being unconscious... #sfl48hr #knackered #HelpMeMummy

Now that all the filmmakers have mostly physically recovered some well-deserved rest (the mental scars may last for years), it is now up to the SFL programmers to watch all the entries to make a short list for our panel of esteemed judges to select the winner. From what we have seen so far, it’s not going to be an easy task. Maybe not as daunting as actually making the films in the first place, but still not a cakewalk, although there might be cake, there won’t be much walking. It is really encouraging to see so much talent making genre movies in the UK, and exciting to be part of bringing to the fore.

The short list should be ready by next Wednesday.

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