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Speed, stamina the secret stars of this weekend's 48 Hour Film Project

No Sleep 'Til Belcourt

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Rush productions are nothing new in the film industry, but a two-day shoot would be pushing it even for Sharknado 2. Most would scoff at completing, well, anything within 48 hours, much less an actual short film. But this weekend local filmmakers will again defy the obstacles of cost, time, weather and sleep deprivation as Nashville's 48 Hour Film Project sets its pitiless clock for the 10th year.

Now a yearly tradition for local auteurs, the 48HFP retains its basic rules. A quick meeting Friday night at NuMynd Studios, 915 Twin Elms Court, will touch off the trademark mad dash to write, shoot, edit and hand in a 4-to-7-minute film before the sun sets on Sunday. Filmmakers will be also saddled with mandatory elements: a specific genre, character, item and snippet of wordplay.

One person who knows the challenges well is Nashville filmmaker Wes Edwards. After competing in Atlanta's version of the project, Edwards went through four rounds of Nashville's annual competition, including its inaugural session. His team from Ruckus Films produced some of the 48HFP's most memorable projects, including the mini-musical "Mother Mayo" and the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti-kiss riff "Canoodle."

Edwards says his teams usually consisted of approximately a dozen folks, and that initial brainstorming sessions could last well into the night before the actual filming begins. "Doing the 48 Hour film project is a lot of fun," the self-dubbed 'retired' project vet tells the Scene, but he stresses the importance of team chemistry.

"A team should be sacred," Edwards says. "It's like putting together a basketball team. It has to have the right chemistry. No one's the all-star. You have to actually work together, and every idea is valid. And it really helps if you all get along. If you all sort of come from a place of, 'This is for fun, this is going to be a creative exercise and we're all in this together,' then no one gets precious about ideas, no one gets their feelings hurt — and everyone can have a good time."

Submissions that arrive on time will be judged for competition, and all will screen at The Belcourt on Wednesday, July 31, and Thursday, Aug. 1. An award show honoring the best of the best will be held at the theater on Aug. 6. For more information, see 48hourfilm.com.

Email arts@nashvillescene.com.

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