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Inside the 48 Hour Film Project: Filmmakers have exactly 48 hours to make a movie, start to finish.

Tampa-St. Petersburg 48 Hour Film Project Premiere Screenings

At 7 p.m. (Group A) and 9 p.m. (Group B) Aug. 9

AMC Classic Centro Ybor 101600 E. 8th Ave., Tampa


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click to enlarge Chris Cavalier and Alissa Schneider are the starry-eyed couple in Magazine Issues. - Litewave Media
Litewave Media
Chris Cavalier and Alissa Schneider are the starry-eyed couple in Magazine Issues.

Boy meets girl. Boy sells girl magazine subscriptions. Boy gets girl.

That’s the core of the nerd-dream plot of Magazine Issues, the 2016 winner of the Tampa/St. Petersburg 48 Hour Film Project. The eight-minute short was written and produced by Litewave Studios, a local video/TV production house.

The 48 Hour Film Project is a nationwide program in which movie-makers (both pro and nascent) are given, at a pre-determined time, a genre, a character and a single line of dialogue, all of which must appear in the film. Then they’re set loose to script, cast, shoot, edit and turn in their production, all within a 48-hour period.

The clock starts ticking this year at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4. All submissions will be screened (and judged via audience poll) at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at AMC Classic Centro Ybor 10. The winner will compete against films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2018, and ultimately might get onscreen in the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner.

“You have 48 hours to create something,” says Litewave writer, director and filmmaker Christian Cashmir. “And whether you fail or succeed, it’s a rush. It’s a big adrenaline rush when your team works all together to create a project — and you make a deliverable that you can all be proud of. And then you go and see it in a movie theater. For a filmmaker, there’s nothing really cooler than that.”

The teams (around 30 have signed up for this year’s fun) literally pick their movie’s genre out of a hat. The 2016 hat decreed that Litewave’s entry had to be in the romance category.

“Musical and Western are the ones that nobody ever wants to get,” Cashmir laughs. “It’s kind of a little joke in the community of filmmakers that whoever gets one of those is the team that pulled the short straw.”

Immediately, ideas are bandied about and, over gallons of coffee, the script is outlined, shaped, sharpened and re-written. In the case of Magazine Issues, the mandatory character was “salesman” and the line was “You’re next.” Everything else was up to the Litewave team.

They added a few silly references to Game of Thrones, just because.

Everyone was finally happy with the script after 12 hours had passed. The Saturday sun was already rising. “We had a couple actors we’d worked with, the two leads," Cashmir recalls. “But a lot of this process is ‘Hey, we need somebody who has this look — and we need them in an hour,’ and everybody gets on their cell phone and starts calling around.”

The company’s makeup artist even has a cameo. “You just use whatever you have and try to make it work. There’s a lot of spontaneity and being resourceful, trying to make things happen in such a short time.”

Serendipity played a role, too. A dream sequence in Magazine Issues was shot in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, in a miniature wrestling ring at a local flea market. “I wasn’t actually there –— I was editing back in the studio,” says Cashmir. “The assistant director and the DP went over and shot that scene, so we could keep editing the other stuff we’d already done.”

Litewave is a professional production company, but those movie-makers with lights, sets and HD cameras don’t always win, according to local 48 Hour Film Project producer Wendy Robbins. In the end, creativity takes the day.

“When you make films in typical fashion, finding funding is always tough,” she says. “We’ve had people turn in films they shot on their cell phones!"

“It’s a creative outlet that’s very inexpensive to be a part of,” she says. “And it can take them globally. So it’s something that can fulfill that creative dream and drive – and at the same time they can do it in a way that’s really cost-effective.”

Watch Magazine Issues below:

About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was born in St. Pete and spent the first 22 years of his life here. After a long time as an arts and entertainment journalist at newspapers around Florida (plus one in Savannah, Ga.) he returned to his hometown in 2014.You’ll find his liner notes in more than 100 CDs by a wide range of artists including...
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