How it Works: Overview

In the world of filmmaking, where time is often an elusive luxury, imagine the exciting challenge of writing, shooting, and editing a short film—all within the confines of a mere 48 hours. This is the essence of the 48 Hour Film Project, an electrifying and immersive experience that catapults filmmakers into a whirlwind of creativity and collaboration.


Friday is kick off day. You will also write your script and prep for the film shoot on Saturday.


At least one representative from your team attends the kick off event, hosted by the local city producer. There, the following happens:

  • Receive information - the city producer will discuss rules, answer questions and gives you other relevant information on your city’s 48HFP.
  • Draw your genre - per team you draw TWO genres (from a hat, a bucket or whatever creative way was thought up by the city producer). You choose one or do a combination of both. You can choose during your weekend, so we won’t put you on the spot too much.
  • Receive required elements - the city producer reveals the character, prop and line for this year’s competition. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules on the required elements.
HOT TIP: Don’t bring your entire team to kick off (how ever fun it is), but have people at base to prep for the shoot, make dinner, start brainstorming, etc.


Once back at base, or holding as they call it in the industry, you get to writing. Most teams start with a brainstorming session, where everyone can pitch in. Other teams go directly to their writer and let them do the work.

While the writing of the script is ongoing, the rest of the crew can prep and arrange for the next day. Things such as: acquiring the required prop, making a shot list, prep the gear, build a set, decorate a set, arrange for actors and/or extras, etc.

HOT TIP: Keep checking in on the writing process. They might write something you can already prepare, thus saving time on Saturday.


Ready? Action! Saturday is filming day! Also, the edito rcan start working their magic.


You start filming the shots you prepared, with the script that has been written. Actors doing their thing, directors are directing and the coffee keeps on flowing.

HOT TIP: Limit your amount of locations. Switching locations takes a lot of time, which you don’t really have when making a film in 48 hours.


Most teams put their editor to work the second the first scene is shot. They can start syncing the material, put a first timeline together, etc. The color grader can start working on a look and the composer can start working on music.

HOT TIP: Make sure you backup all your data. You don’t want to lose 12 hours of filming, do you?


It’s drop off day! Today all the components of your film will come together and by the end of the day, you’ll have a complete film!


The editor has been working through the night (have we mentioned the flow of coffee?). The director has given their opinion and most teams have a picture lock by early afternoon. Music is being composed, sound is being designed and credit rolls are being made.


Besides the actual film, all the paperwork needs to be handed in on Sunday too. The waiver and release forms, materials release form, etc. All these need to be uploaded to your Dashboard. Go to the documents page for more info on this.

HOT TIP: Make one person responsible for all the paperwork. That way things get done efficiently. After all, there is enough chaos in the weekend as is.


And before the clock strikes 7.30pm, your film should be uploaded to your Dashboard and you can finally…..SLEEP!


The films are made, you caught up on your sleep, put together an outfit that shows the authentic you, which makes you ready for the red carpet!

In a local cinema YOUR film will grace the big screen, as it was meant to! Depending on the number of teams in your city, several screening groups will be shown on one or over several days. Everyone is welcome, so bring your friends, family, neighbors and whoever else to see YOUR creation! Some cities also have a Best Of screening, where the top films are being shown.

Then it’s time to see if you won something! Head to the awards ceremony and hear what judges thought, who won the Audience Award and celebrate with other filmmakers.

This is the 48 Hour Project in a nutshell. Feel inspired? Ready to accept the challenge? Find your city!