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Filmmakers Should Expect A Wired Weekend With 24-Hour Film Race


Aspiring filmmakers are expecting an exhilarating and caffeine-induced weekend with the return of “Down to the Wire: A 24-Hour Film Race.”

Presented by CreativeRush and Tallgrass Film Association, “Down to the Wire” brings together the film community and pushes teams to create a short film in 24 hours. This time includes writing, producing and editing the films. Normally a film of this nature, six minutes or fewer, would take weeks or months to create. The race drives people to be creative in a manner that is rarely experienced in the filmmaking industry.

The first race and screening, in 2012, brought out a mass of the city’s film enthusiasts, with 34 registered teams and more than 500 attendees at the screening. After this huge success, the race is back for a second round.

“We kind of expected just the teams and their friends would come on Sunday [the day of the 2012 screening], and they could see the films,” said Tallgrass Executive Director Lela Meadow-Conner.

Meadow-Conner and the other staff were overwhelmed by the positive turn out of attendees at The Orpheum Theatre for the films’ showing.

While it may sound rushed, the limited time pushes teams’ creativity and forces them to be resourceful.

Contestant and video editor of 10 years, Kevin Wildt looks forward to the challenge of the 24-hour timeframe.

“I’m sort of a perfectionist, so it’s interesting to put a deadline on something like this,” Wildt said. “I think it’s better, but it’s more nerve-racking just because I want to put out something that’s really awesome.”

Meadow-Conner said she thinks the adrenaline and being forced to be creative is what lures many filmmakers in.

“It’s hugely exciting to kind of be put under that pressure,” she said.

Each registered team has 24 hours to write, produce and edit a film before turning it into Tallgrass, where the top 10 films will be chosen to be shown and judged on Sunday. For their film to qualify, teams must work a randomly chosen location, dialogue, prop and theme into their short films. All elements are revealed just before the countdown begins.

Last year’s winner “Re-Up” by Harrison Steele and Andre Kahmeyer focused on a “drug deal gone bad,” and successfully integrated the four required elements. The theme of Catch 22, a bus stop as the location, keys as a prop and the required dialogue of “this isn’t going to be a happy ending.”  On the team’s Vimeo they described the experience as “Exhausting, exhilarating, and lots of fun.”

This year’s prizes include $1000 grant from Vimeo, a gala screening at the Tallgrass Film Festival in October, tickets and passes to the festival and many more.

The 24-hour countdown for “Down to the Wire” begins Friday and the showing of the top 10 entries is at 7 p.m. on Sunday at The Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway St., #102.

You can follow the race on Twitter with hashtag #DTTW.

View last year's winner "Re-Up" below.