The Fool’s 48 Short Film Project is set to return again this year. This competition challenges participants to write, direct and edit a short film in just 48 hours.
For 2022 student participant Gen Hirata, the competition was an opportunity to learn what it takes to make a short film.
“I’ve been passionate about filmmaking my whole life, and I didn’t realize Vermillion had opportunities to participate in film festivals,” Hirata said. “I was excited to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Outside of learning how to create a short film, Fool’s 48 participants also have a chance to develop valuable life skills, like time management, teamwork and communication.
“It taught me a lot about time management. Because you only have 48 hours, you have to really efficiently split up your time and make sure that you’re getting everything done in a reasonable manner,” Hirata said. “It was a big collaborative thing, and we were just open about communication.”
Participants come from all areas of the community, and while experience in filmmaking makes the competition easier, it is not required. For many teams, it is their first time participating in an event like this.
“We were one of the only student groups participating,” Hirata said. “Everyone pretty much does it for fun. It’s a ‘get together with your friends and make something’ type of competition, but the competition was steep last year. A lot of people entered, and there were a lot of really good films and some really cool music videos.”
The competition also gives students and community members something to do over the weekend.
“It’s just another fun thing to do in Vermillion. I know that sometimes people struggle to find things that aren’t drinking or have an age limit, and it’s just another fun event to attend and be a part of and immerse yourself in the community a bit more,” Hirata said. “It’s really fun, and you get to spend time with your friends … You’ll make something that you will be proud of because you made it and you did it in 48 hours. It’s just an opportunity to just be involved.”
The competition is not without its challenges, though. For Hirata, the biggest of these was acting.
“The biggest challenge for me personally was acting because I’m not super comfortable in front of the camera, and I’ve never done that before,” said Hirata. “My teammates were super supportive, and super helpful in directing me and telling me what to do. That’s how I overcame that fear a little bit. We were just taking it lightheartedly, none of it was serious. It was all for fun, so it was just easy to relax and be myself.”
At the end of the weekend, the participants get to see their short film alongside everybody else’s in the Coyote Twin Theater.
“My favorite moment was watching the showcase because, like I said, I had never acted in anything before, so it was really cool seeing myself up on a big movie screen and being there with my teammates was really fun,” Hirata said. “We all enjoyed it, and we were really proud of what we had made. It was nice to see it and hear everybody applauding it and, I think, liking it.”
Fool’s 48 will kick off this Friday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m., when teams will draw a genre from a hat. After that, teams get to individually decide how to spend their time before the deadline on Sunday. The films will be shown on Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m. at the Coyote Twin Theatre.