70-80 teams to produce 48 Hour shorts over a weekend

More than 70 film teams participating in the upcoming Chicago 48 Hour Film Project, will meet and mingle with their competitors Tuesday, July 23 at the Rooftop on Joe’s Bar on Weed at 6 p.m. in advance of the sleepless, hectic Aug. 9-11 production weekend.

Chicago is one of 128 worldwide cities where some 60,000 people will collaborate on a short 4-7 minute film for the excitement of beating the clock, local bragging rights, prizes and a screening at Cannes.

This year’s 48HFP producer for the past four years is Amanda Peters Shapiro, co-founder with J. Trevi Albin of full-service FOUR Productions and its operations director.

48HFP executive producer Amanda Shapiro of FOUR Productions

“As professionals know,” Shapiro says, “it’s rare when you can work on a passion project.  The race is an opportunity to kick yourself in the pants a little bit, reenergize your creative self and work with people of like mind.”

The race kicks off Friday night, Aug. 9 at Calumet Photo on Goose Island when teams will be told the required elements of a character a prop, a line of dialog and the genre that must be incorporated into their short.  

The battle ends Sunday, Aug. 11 when all finished films must be  dropped off by 7:30 p.m. on the dot at Calumet Photo on Rush St.

The Music Box theatre will host the premier screening of all submitted films on Aug. 14-15, followed by the Best of Awards Show.

Among this summer’s teams are several returning industry professionals and previous 48HFP award winners.  They include Mitch Apley/Back 40 Productions, Abelson Taylor’s head of broadcast production, whose 2010 team won a record-breaking 10 awards out of 14. 

Last year they won for best film, direction and editing, while designer/animator Dave Harding’s Catington Station counted five best category prizes. 

Also participating this year: RDS sound engineer Bryen Hensley’s Done>Perfect; brand strategist Edwin Sochacki’s Flying-J Studios; filmmaker David Bradburn’s Fork the Man; The Colonie assistant editor Brian Salazar’s H.A.M and EP Ritch Wedeking’s previously winning Rascals & Rogues.

Project expects 70 to 80 Chicago teams to participateGreat rewards are possible for the winner: Screening at 48HFP’s Filmapalooza (held in L.A. last year), the international grand prize trophy, a $5,000 grand prize and inclusion among the 10 best films to screen at Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner 2014.

Local prizes include trophies for winners of the 12 “Best…” categories, an Awards Show Screening a venue to be announced and, says Shapiro, and the run at the Music Box theatre.

“Bolstering the accreditation of the 48 Hour film and filmmaking in Chicago is one of our continuous goals,” says Shapiro. She especially cites the participation of Music Box Theatre, indie cinema’s entrenched showplace, this year. 

“Having the winning film screen there is a tremendous endorsement of the project.”

Space is limited. July 30 is the registration deadline; the fee is $160 and $175 thereafter.