Every year Sci-Fi London runs a competition inviting Sci-Fi fans and filmmakers to take part in a 48hrs film challenge. Armed with a title, a line of dialogue, a scientific theme and a specified prop, competing teams have two days to develop and make a 5 minute short film. The winning film is premiered during the London Sci-Fi Film Festival, and also benefits from a promotional platform through The Guardian newspaper website, as well as a development deal with independent UK production company, Vertigo Films.
This coming weekend, 14th-15th April 2012, the competition is running again. If any of you are interested, it is really easy to take part. Simply go to the Sci-Fi London website and register your team. For the past two years a group of us have entered the competition and each time it has been a very fun and rewarding experience. The lack of budget and sci-fi elements require us all to get really creative, and with a little dedication and a lot of caffeine it's amazing what can be achieved. Granted it’s a weekend of very little sleep as we struggle to meet the Monday morning deadline, but for sci-fi geeks and filmmaking enthusiasts this is a challenge we are willing to make sacrifices for. What better way to while away a weekend?
One very inspiring success story resulting from this competition is that of Writer/Director Gareth Edwards, who won the competition in 2008 with Factory Farmed. Off the back of his competition entry Edwards grabbed the attention of producers at Vertigo Films who later offered him a development deal for his first feature film. This feature was Monsters, a film that many of you will recognise and a great example of what can be achieved on a small budget and with a little know-how. Independent filmmaking at it’s most creative. Gareth himself was personally responsible for a large majority of the visual effects, as well as writing and directing the story. Gareth began his career as a VFX artist and has gone on to pursue a career as a film director. Check out this interview with Gareth as he explains how winning the competition furthered his career.
This is a free competition that welcomes teams from any level of experience to take part. You don’t have to be a VFX genius to be in with a chance of winning. In fact some of the more successful entries incorporate no VFX at all, and concentrate on strong story telling techniques. Take last year’s winning entry as an example.
For those among you who are taking part this weekend, best of luck. See you at the finish line!