Write, cast, rehearse, shoot, edit and produce. These are the tasks many young filmmakers will have to undertake in no more than 24 hours for this year’s 24/ONE film creation event. The smell of competition will fill the air and for good reason: this year’s winner will have their film presented in Edmonton’s 27th International Film Festival.
The 24/ONE event began nine years ago when long-time EIFF director Kerrie Long heard about an event in New York where filmmakers had 48 hours to create a movie. She came to producer Joshua Semchuk with the idea to create a similar event. Together they decided that filmmakers would have 24 hours to produce a film no longer than six minutes.
Semchuk says that people new to the 24/ONE event are given no expectations besides needing a prop, phrase, and genre in the movie. The contest began with only needing a phrase, but Semchuk soon realized this was too easy of a task so he added a genre and prop which were very popular. “Some of the people base their entire film around the phrase or genre,” he says.
The props tend to be universal so the film is genuine and not like the others. He recalls one film in particular where the prop was only a Barbie doll. The main character meets a beautiful woman and goes on many luxurious dates with her only to realize that the next day the woman he met is actually in fact a Barbie doll. “[The team] goes back and recreates every scene with the Barbie doll! It was freaking genius, I thought it was amazing” says Semchuk ecstatically.
He says that the casting for the movies is very difficult for the obvious reason of limited time and the loss of actors throughout the filming process. “You could be shooting and [one of your actors] could say ‘I gotta go!’… so suddenly you start losing people and because of this, [the directors] get panicky after midnight,” he laughs. Because of this obstacle, usually two or three teams don’t create the film on time.
As producer, Semchuk is basically a problem solver. He always receives calls about issues or
questions from directors. He remembers one year where a director called him around 3:30 a.m. about sound software issues — the problem being that he had just opened his brand new software out of the box six hours before the deadline.
People participating in 24/ONE can shoot on location or anywhere they choose. Semchuk says he continuously sees rookie movie makers try to shoot every scene in “sequence.” He
recommends that they plan for their outside scenes before the indoor due to time restrictions.
24/ONE will be a chance for new and seasoned filmmakers to unveil their creativity. Semchuk hopes that this year’s contest will as memorable as the others in the past.