May 14, 2005 5:43 AM   Subscribe

The NYC Midnight Run is happening right now! Today, dozens of teams are hard at work writing, scripting, recording, and editing a film which must be complete twentifour hours from the time they were given the subject and genre. But we in Greater New York are not alone. There are 24 hour film festivals cropping up all over. Why?

(Disclosure: Though I will be participating in the festival, I am not in any way an organizer or affiliated with the organization itself. This should be viewed as the equivalent of someone who uses a search engine pointing out a cool point about search engines).
posted by Eideteker (12 comments total)
There is the fourth annual 24 Video Race. I've known a few participants but haven't done so myself (no desire to).

I think the most interesting thing, without reading your Why? link, is that the participants I've known were self-taught and don't do much production work outside of this and similar events. A good thing, in my opinion.
posted by melt away at 6:26 AM on May 14, 2005

There are 24 hour film festivals cropping up all over. Why?

Well, first of all because you can. DV has made film production more accessible, affordable, etc. etc.

But I would say that the real appeal for the creative mind is the challenge of completing something. Being given an artificial limit is a good way to get you motivated. How many movies are lingering out there in an unfinished state? If you commit to the 24 hour time period you better get *something* done or it will be a complete waste of time.

Limits have always been good for artists: Van Gogh often painted a picture in an hour; graphic designers limit themselves to two or three colors for a poster; Charles Mingus used to force himself to practice his bass with the weakest fingers on his hands.

Although the site is sadly on longterm hiatus (and may even be down), I used to be a part of WeeklyDV where the constraints were to shoot and edit your film in four hours or less. Were the films masterpieces? No, but the sense of satisfaction was great when you pulled something off . . .
posted by jeremias at 7:00 AM on May 14, 2005

This sounds like a lot of fun. If I had more free time I'd probably get involved. I might enjoy watching that DVD they have.

As an aside, I'm glad I live in BC (provincial election is this May 17) where we have wacky political parties that actually make sense on some level. I won't be voting for the Work Less Party, due mainly to their inability to govern, but they truly are a great party not to vote for. It's my personal opinion that a few of the major parties are terrible not to vote for, but I still do it.

To answer your question, I believe "simple economics" is the most concise answer.

on preview: I think "because you can" is more concise than my own suggestion, I was just going for number of words.
posted by futureproof at 7:04 AM on May 14, 2005

More concise: It's fun.

There are means to finish a decent looking piece of video in 24 hours. I think these sorts of things get the blood flowing, the creative juices running, and all in all produce some pretty neat things. It's kind of like a canned student film festival where most of the end product is banal and predictable but you get some gems. Having 5 or 6 of these could net you 15-20 gems where that would take a whole year in the "traditional" festival sense. I'm talking shorts here, obviously..
posted by cavalier at 8:46 AM on May 14, 2005

I did the Dallas video race for the past two years and it's fun. I wish I were there this year (moving across the country puts a damper on things). There's something very cool about making a film in a sleepless/caffiene fueled haze and having people actually like it. We even made the finals last year with our piece about a Chutes and Ladders hustler.
posted by amandaudoff at 9:42 AM on May 14, 2005

It's also part of the 24-hour craze that's going on in theatre as well. The 24 Hour Plays which has been around since 1997, I think, and theAtrainplays, of which I was a founding member and head writer (I've written 13 plays so far) which has been around since 2002, are just two examples.

It IS fun, and liberating, working under pressure and having constraints. It's also a great way to meet like-minded, talented people. And the audience reaction is astonishing -- especially the first night. They feel like they're part of the show and react with enthusiasm unlike I've ever seen in a theater. It's awesome.
posted by papercake at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2005

They make it sound all spy like and everything. But it is a great idea, I love sprint competitions.
posted by fenriq at 10:58 AM on May 14, 2005

I wrote a piece for 24-hour theater once. I had a great time - until I watched the director turn my little beauty into a monstrosity that in no way resembled my opus. It soured me to scripting altogether and only served to reinforce my earlier statement that, "without actors, playwrights would be novelists. Without playwrights, actors would be mimes."

I put it in iambic pentameter so it would be easier to memorize the lines, you worthless hacks.

*looks down nose*
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:42 PM on May 14, 2005

I think "twentifour" is a great new word.
posted by blacklite at 12:52 PM on May 14, 2005

Game In A Day
posted by Ptrin at 10:12 PM on May 14, 2005

Wis-kino kabaret, Madison, WI
posted by ism at 11:50 PM on May 14, 2005

Drunk Film Festival.
posted by gigawhat? at 2:50 PM on May 16, 2005

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