Brutal filmmaking

Prosthetics artist Sandi Cutts is sought after by BOP film teams in the Vista Foundation 48Hours because of her prosthetic makeup skills. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford

Despite the shift to alert level 3 for Auckland, and to alert level 2 for the rest of NZ, the nationwide Vista Foundation 48Hours competition is still able to go ahead next weekend.

With the shift in alert levels around the country we will be putting in place our COVID-19 event plan for the Vista Foundation 48Hours,” says a spokesperson for the film competition.

Some teams based in Auckland however are not happy and are wanting the competition to be postponed.

“This seems unfair for people in Auckland - not having access to certain equipment, locations, and most importantly team members aren't in the same bubble, that all other regions will have access to,” writes Luke Earl to competition organisers on the 48Hours Facebook page.

“I know it's in the spirit of the competition to "get creative", but it is definitely a handicap for Auckland teams. A postponed 48 Hours might make more sense so everyone could compete equally. If there are teams who have changed their mind regarding this change in the competition, will you be offering refunds?”

Others on the page pointed out that postponing until the following weekend may not be any better, only making it worse for the rest of the country’s film competitors having to change their plans.

In the Bay of Plenty 13 teams have registered from Taupo to Tauranga, right across the region.

There will be moments of pure ecstasy, absolute exhaustion, extreme bonding and meltdowns as the teams compete in what is NZ’s largest guerrilla film-making competition, aiming to make the best short film in just 48 hours. Temporary insanity is one thing this annual competition isn't lacking; it will be crazy, furious, intense and has been attracting movie maniacs since year one.

Filmmakers don't know what genre they will be shooting until the start of the competition. All writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack must occur within the 48-hour window beginning Friday evening at 7pm and ending Sunday at 7pm. To add to the mayhem, they must also include some random elements.

The BOP launch event of the Vista Foundation 48Hours, hosted by Film Bay of Plenty, was going to be held in Tauranga on Friday March 6, starting at 6.30pm. However, with the drop to alert level 2 for the region, the event will be held on line. At 7pm, after a countdown, each team is given a film genre and a list of required elements that they must include in their films. In 2019, the genres were ‘the gross out or cringe comedy’, ‘the opposites attract movie’, ‘the secret identity movie’, ‘the wrong place/wrong time movie’, ‘the holiday movie’, ‘the coming-of-age movie’, ‘the buddy movie’, ‘the science fiction movie’, ‘the musical or dance movie’, ‘the time travel movie’, ‘the generation gap movie’, ‘the nature run amok movie’, and the ‘real time movie’.

The annual competition started in 2003 as a sidebar to the Becks Incredible Film Festival with just 44 teams in Auckland only. The competition is now in its 19th year and has spread nationwide.

Last year was the special VF48LOCKDOWN edition after the main competition was cancelled due to Covid-19, and teams had to film without leaving their bubble. A record number of 2118 teams registered for what many called the most brutal version of the VF48Hours in the competition’s 18-year history.

“You don’t need to be a professional filmmaker,” says Film Bay of Plenty’s VF48Hours BOP city manager Annie Lawler. “This competition is open to all ages and abilities and everyone has a story to tell.”

Annie says that every year the VF48Hours organisers come up with a hearty challenge for the filmmaking teams.

“And every year we are amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of our teams and the films that they produce. As they say ‘restriction breeds creativity’ and that’s what this competition is all about.”

This year the competition can run at any Covid-19 alert level. The grand finals in May will have the finalists screened in Auckland, live-streamed and show on TV2. Information on the competition is on the website: .

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