Monday, June 30, 2008

The Rules (Cut and Pasted from


Filmmaking teams have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and score a short film.

Duration of the Short
4 minutes minimum – not including credits. 5 minutes maximum – including credits.
Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds

Deadlines and Formats
The teams will meet at (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles Street, East Lansing, MI. They must register no later than 6:45pm on Friday, July 11, 2008. Competition will begin at 7pm on Friday, July 11, 2008 and end at 7pm on Sunday, July 13, 2008. The participating teams must turn in their completed film on miniDV no later than 7pm on Sunday, July 13 at (SCENE) Metrospace. There is no grace period.

(New this summer - please read carefully.)
For screening purposes, we are now requiring a DVD of all submissions in addition to the miniDV tape. The DVDs must be delivered to the front desk of the East Lansing Hannah Community Center on Abbot Road no later than 5pm on Monday, July 14th if they will be screened by the public. The films will have been judged and all prizes will have been decided the previous night at (SCENE) Metrospace by our judging panel. Any attempt at making alterations to films burned to the requisite DVD is therefore irrelevant.

Film must be turned in on both MiniDV and DVD by the specified Sunday and Monday deadlines, respectively. No other formats will be accepted or extensions granted. No exceptions!
Make sure team name and title of film is clearly labeled on both the miniDV tape and DVD. Additionally, ensure that your DVD has been burned properly and works on at least two DVD players (not computers). DVDs that are found non-functional will not be screened to the public, even if we have a functional copy of your film on miniDV. The films are being judged Sunday July 13, 2008 from the miniDV tapes submitted on time, and as a result, a team with a non-functional DVD but submitted a functional miniDV tape on time is still eligible for prizes but will not be screened to the public as we do not have the means to project from miniDV tapes.

Late Films
Films received after the Sunday deadline may be screened at the discretion of the ELFF staff but are not eligible for an award. Late teams are still encouraged, however, to submit their films on DVD to be screened by the public on Monday at the Hannah Community Center. (See above for DVD submission requirements and deadlines.)

Films will be judged by film professors, filmmakers and film enthusiasts from the area.
First Prize - $100; Second Prize - $50; Third Prize - $25.
The 48/5 Film Contest awards are generously sponsored by Cheeney Media Concepts 2 and the Michigan Film Office.

The Start
Each participating group must have at least one member at the 48/5 kick-off meeting, preferably the Team Producer. At 7pm on Friday, July 11, 2008, one member from each team will receive an envelope containing a pre-selected theme, prop, line of dialogue and location to be the basis for the film. These elements must be included in the submitted film. Failure to include any one of these elements will render the film ineligible for prizes. Judging will be based on the originality and creativity* in including these elements in the final product.

*Even if your film doesn’t look like it was made in Hollywood, you have a better shot at winning prizes by creatively incorporating the specified elements into your film and telling a good, coherent story. There is nothing more valued by our judging panel than good storytelling and original and clever use of the elements. High production values may be impressive, but they are ultimately pointless if they are not used in conjunction with an artfully crafted plot.

Shooting Period
All creativity will take place within the 48-hour period (scriptwriting, rehearsals, costume/set design, shooting, editing, sound design, etc.). The only work allowed prior to the official start time is: organizing cast and crew, securing equipment, scouting and securing locations and sourcing music.

Participating groups are encouraged to work with local composers and/or musicians to write and record music for their films. We realize that this may be difficult to achieve in 48 hours. Therefore, it is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music with permission (see Video Shoot Release Form & Limited Liability Release Form). Pre-recorded, public domain sound effects are allowed.

All footage must be shot within the 48-hour time period. No stock footage or footage shot or created prior to that time may be used. Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the 48-hour period.

Any team found to have cheated in any way will be disqualified.

Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras that can be used. Any format for shooting is acceptable (HD, 35mm, super8, pixelvision, etc.) as long as the finished short is submitted on both miniDV tape and DVD by the specified deadlines above. No other formats will be accepted.

Team Roster/Team Release Form
A full team roster with all participants’ names, signatures and e-mail addresses must be handed in at end of the contest with the completed film. The Team Release Form is the acceptable and preferred way of fulfilling this requirement.

Your finished short film:
The finished short must be handed in on MiniDV and DVD.
The tape must be cued at the start, with ten seconds of black. Tapes that are improperly cued will be disqualified.
The tape must be ‘clean’, i.e., you cannot hand in a tape that has your finished short appearing after un-edited footage.

The tape must include the following after ten seconds of black – in a standard, legible typeface:
Please make this text fill most of the screen. White text on Black background.

Please keep a copy of the master for yourself. We are unable to return miniDV tapes or DVDs.
If we cannot view your film on our equipment, it will be disqualified. See above deadline and format requirements for further details.
If shot in a 16:9 ratio, your finished film must be presented to us letter-boxed.
(The projector will not be switched to accommodate any aspect ratio. To expedite the projection process, our projector will be set to 4:3.)

Films must include the following end credit:
This film was made as part of the East Lansing Film Festival 48/5 Film Contest –Fall 2007.

To register – send signed Participation Agreement and $50 entry fee per team no later than July 9, 2008 to:

Attn: 48/5 Film Contest
PO Box 4880
East Lansing, MI 48826

Make check or money orders payable to ELFF.
Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

If registering after July 9, 2008, the entry fee is $75 per team.
Day-of registration is at (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles Street, East Lansing, MI and must be completed by 6:45 pm.

The 48/5 staff may add to or amend these rules at any time prior to the beginning of the 48-hour time period.

Please direct all questions to or 517-336-5802.

An Overview of the 48/5

You can pretty much get any general information about the East Lansing Film Festival Summer 2008 48/5 Competition at

But here is an overview of how it will affect our team. There are four days involved, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 11-13, 2008 to produce the film, and Monday, July 14th for a screening of all entries and the announcement of the winners.

There is an entrance fee of $50.00. For the first one, it was $40.00 and I was promised that I would be reimbursed. Didn't happen. This time, I'd like to get some as soon as possible, so I don't have to pay the whole thing myself, again. I am suggesting $10.00 for each participant, and if we get more than $50.00 we can use that to buy pizza or soft drinks for the long Friday night meeting. I have a PayPal Account using the following e-Mail address, If you can't afford $10.00, send what you can, and, of course, more would be appreciated, too.

Friday night, the kick-off is at: (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St. East Lansing, MI. I can't locate the time right now, but I believe it is at 7:00. Only one person from the team is required to attend, but I think it is a great way to get energized and to meet the competition. I don't know who the judges will be, but I hope to find out before we meet for the first time.

At the kick-off at (SCENE) Metrospace, we will be given an envelope with the four elements that need to be included in the film. This year, those are: a pre-selected theme, a prop, line of dialogue and location. All of those things must be included in the film and they should be very obvious. The judges look for that.

After the kick-off meeting, those who want to work on the script will come back to my place to plan the script. More about that later. The planning is highly important.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

ELFF Summer 2008 48/5 Competition

The Michigan FilmMaker Forum entered the Spring 2006 competition, but was disqualified because we were late turning in our film We were all disappointed, and, of course, we all thought we would have won if it had been in on time. I guess we'll never know. You can judge for yourself:

But, now it is time for the Summer 2008 Competition. We've got a second chance.

This is an open invitation to any of you who would like to join us. The dates are July 11, 12 & 13 for the creation of the film. That's Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a screening on Monday, July 14, 2008.

If you are interested, write for more info at, return to this blog for ongoing information about the MFMF team, or for general information, visit

Out of the Ashes

The Michigan FilmMaker Forum has been on hiatus for about a year and a half now. Attendance at meetings dropped from thirty or forty at the beginning to eight or twelve at some of the last meetings. The website never really got off the ground.

I think the need is still there, but it got to be a lot of work for just one person, and, although a few people volunteered to help, they were really busy folk and it was difficult to coordinate times to get together with them.

So, this is a step toward returning the Michigan FilmMaker Forum to its former relevance. There are lots of filmmakers, actors, directors, cinematographers and photographers out there who could use some help and networking and more importantly, they could be of serious help to people just getting started.

In the spirit of taking baby steps, for the next two or three weeks, this blog will focus primarily on the East Lansing Film Festival Summer 2008 48/5 competition.

We are in the earliest stages of assembling a team for that competition, and this will be the source for information on the ELFF 48/5 film competion. If you have an interest in competing, write to

And for more information check back with these pages or visit