So, the 48 Hour Film Project – Detroit has ended and teams walked away with an incredibly intense, entrancing weekend filled with film making, friendship, pitfalls and accomplishments…some even walked away with an award!

This year, the 48 Hour Film Project brought in 47 teams of local filmmakers to compete against each other (and against the clock!) to make a short film in just 48 hours. The 48 Hour Film Project, one of the largest film competitions in the country, came back to Detroit for the 6th year running and out of the 47 teams and films, over 30 awards were given out – ranging from “Best in Genre” all the way up to “Best Picture.”

CW50 had the chance to sit down with a few of this year’s winners to find out the behind-the-scenes story of how the teams got to the finish line.

Dave Donaldson and his team, Margrave Pictures, are the proud winners of “Best Directing” and “Best in Genre – Thriller/Suspense” for their film “Night Guests.” Dave said, “The most challenging part had to be the audio,” speaking of the weekend. He went on to say to be careful before committing to too many roles during the competition, “I was the director, editor, and sound mix. I basically realized that I put too much on my plate and my audio suffered for it.”

Margrave Pictures On Set With a 30-Foot Camera Jib

Team Margrave Pictures On Set With a 30-Foot Camera Jib

Even with the drawbacks Dave faced, he and his team still enjoyed the weekend, took home two awards and learned a lot for future projects. Dave adds, “In closing I am really happy to see this city’s improvement on an independent level. These DSLR cameras have almost made it possible for the passionate filmmaker to get ‘the look’ of the couple hundred thousand dollar films of yesterday. It excites me to know we are moving forward.”

Former CW50 Street Team member Scotty Felsenfeld and his team took home the award for “Best in Genre – Sports / Games and Competitions,” for their film “O.I.C.U.”, a film about a game of office hide-and-seek. Scotty said that he and his team had planned out an idea of what they would do if they were to choose any one of the topics for the film…but what they didn’t plan for was Superhero, which is what they drew. Deciding to risk it and go back for the Wild Card drawing (which teams had the opportunity to do if they did not like their original choice), Scotty and his team drew again and got Sports / Games and Competitions.

Scotty said the toughest part of the weekend was working with the time constraint. “We all had other outside obligations going on during the competition,” he said, “that made it very difficult to work around.” Even with the limitations the team had with time, they still were able to shoot the entire film in one night and have everything completed for the Sunday deadline. “My advice to other filmmakers is to do the competition – just do it – it is the most fun you can have in a 48 hour period – there’s pressure, stress, but it’s fun,” he adds.

We also had the chance to speak with Mike Madigan, City Producer for Detroit in this year’s 48 Hour Film Project. This year marked Mike’s 4th year as the City Producer for the 48 Hour Film Project in Detroit. Along with producing, he also competed in the 2009 48 Hour Film Project – Detroit, where his team won the award for “Best in Genre – Buddy Film.”

Mike says, “Getting a good team together in advance is always critical. Also since the genres are posted online, go through them all with your team and decide what you might potentially do if you got that genre, could you pull it off?” He says to remember, “A decent story, solid acting and good post-production work come together to make a winning entry.”

Mike is also excited to announce, for the first year ever in the 48 Hour Film Project, they will have a “Best Of” screening this Wednesday night at the Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township at 7pm. At the showing they will screen some of the winners from the competition, including Best Picture, 2nd and 3rd place winners, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score and more! Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the door.

And in the words of Mike, speaking on next year’s 48 Hour Film Project, “All you need is a camera and the willingness to accept the challenge!”

To see more of the winners and on the “Best Of” Screenings, check out the 48 Hour Film Project – Detroit website here!


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