As of this writing (May 2018), I’ve participated in and completed four 48 Hour Film Festival entries. They’re normally a disaster in some respect – that seems to be part of the charm of the 48 Hour Film Festival – but having the 48 hour time limit is also a nice impetus to go and actually finish the damn thing, instead of wasting months between shooting and editing, which normally happens.
Not a Time Machine is the most successful of my attempts to make a short film in 48 hours, partly because everyone involved knew each other really well by then, and partly because we just kind of got lucky and wrote a script that actually made some kind of sense.
That’s where most 48 Hour entries go wrong. People try to get clever and think they’ll emulate Nolan or Fincher in their ~5-minute entry, and in the meantime what they actually produce is completely nonsensical – even if you could actually hear the audio.
I had just gotten a new camera before this project, and just like with Houseboat On Terror Lake, the whole team sat in a room and hashed out this script before we ever called in the actors.