FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Malevolent Mouse Productions & Abbey West Recording charge 60.00/ hour for any studio recordings. This price includes the digital file and tech for your session.
That is a difficult question to answer without knowing the scope of your project. I invite you to fill out our Project Inquiry form on our About Us page so that we can give you an accurate quote that will include everything. We don’t like hidden fees or hard-to-find cheese.
Yes, we accept payment plans, when you begin your project and we settle on a price, we will also discuss payments and work with you to create a payment plan that will get your project made!
Yes, we do, using our easy online payment method you will get an invoice and confirmation once payment has gone through.
48 Hour Film Project
It’s your chance to stop talking and start filming! The premise? Filmmaking teams have just one weekend to make a short film. All creativity—writing, shooting, editing, and adding a musical soundtrack—must occur in a 48-hour window beginning Friday evening at 7:00pm and ending Sunday at 7:00pm. The following week, the completed films are screened to an eager audience.
The registration fee is for the entire team and includes two free tickets to the screenings (which are given to the team leader). Fees range from $148 to $188 depending on the registration period: Early Bird, Regular or Late.
If a team (Entrant) must withdraw, refunds will be paid on the following schedule:
- Notify the 48HFP more than 30 days prior to your competition weekend, and receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee.
- Notify the 48HFP 7-30 days prior to your competition weekend, receive a full refund minus a $35 administrative fee.
- No refunds less than 7 days prior to Kickoff event.
NOTE #1: If Team Leader contracts Covid and must withdraw his/her team within seven (7) days of Kickoff, then the registration fee will be refunded minus a $35 administrative fee.
NOTE #2: In lieu of a refund, Registration may be transferred to a different City Project (depending on availability) or credited to the following year at no charge. This request must be made through the Withdraw link below at least seven (7) days prior to Kickoff.
To withdraw and, if eligible, request a refund or a transfer, the team leader must complete this request form:
That’s up to the filmmaker; however, each team must select the genre for its movie in a random drawing 15 minutes before the start of the competition. There are 30 different genres. Each team will receive two genres from which to choose.
In addition, teams are given a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must appear in their film.
The films screen to live audiences at a local theater. Of course the filmmakers, actors, family and friends are there to enthusiastically support the premiere of the weekend’s work. But also supporters of the local film community, and discriminating viewers who want to see something new—something raw and alive—are there to feel the creative energy. After awards Malevolent Mouse releases a Digital download of the full video that was shown at the screening.
The 48 Hour Film Project is open to all filmmakers, beginners, pre-professionals and pros. Even hobbyists are encouraged to participate. The Rules state that all team members (crew and cast) must be volunteers. Experience does not always equate to awards. Beginner teams have won big awards, too. And, you never know who you may see in a 48 Hour film—Martin Freeman, Penn of Penn and Teller, Dennis Farina, and Nick Clooney have all appeared in 48HFP films.
No. Our smallest team was just one person—he sets up the camera then runs around to act. Our largest team to date was a team from Albuquerque with 116 people and 30 horses! The average, though, is about 15 people per team.
Yes, you’re allowed. We hope you can make the scheduling work out
The films are short; they must be a minimum of 4 minutes and a maximum of 7 minutes long. Short is good. Not only are shorter films tighter and usually more interesting, they are more marketable.
On the first few days following the competition deadline, the movies are screened at a grand premiere in a local movie theater. An eager audience of tired, excited filmmakers, crews, and friends are in attendance to cheer on the films.
The event is advertised by word of mouth, on the web, and via local press. Local filmmakers and organizations are our most vocal supporters and do a great job spreading the word. In each city, the 48 Hour Film Project has generated considerable interest from local and national media. From CNN to the Washington Post and LA Times—we’ve had coverage in hundreds of media outlets to date.
Get it out there! Enter it into festivals, play it in public screenings, upload it to websites, get it on television, and show it to anyone you can. Be sure you abide by any restrictions in the Team Leader’s Agreement.
Yes, presuming that the showing adheres to the Team Leader’s Agreement that you signed when entering the 48 Hour Film Project. If it is a modified version of a 48 Hour Film Project film, please include a title card and a mention in the end credits that say:
The concept for this film developed during the 48 Hour Film Project.
Yes and yes. One film in each city will be chosen “Best of City”.
Depends on what you mean by winning. Countless filmmakers over the years have told us that their filmmaking weekend was a fantastic experience. They loved getting to use their creative talents; they had fun with their friends; and they made a film, too! So if winning means having a great time, you’ve got a very good shot at it.
Probably not. Over the years a number of films have been purchased for distribution, but this is rare. However, quite a few 48HFP filmmakers have had success with their films in other festivals including SXSW. One team won a $100K filmmaking package at another festival. Quite a few filmmakers have made indie features and other filmmakers have used their 48HFP experience to get paying work.
Additionally, if the 48 Hour Film Project is able to distribute your film, you are entitled to the bulk of the proceeds. While the market for short films is nearly non-existent, the 48HFP garners more interest in our films because of the 48-hour concept and the fact that they are part of a bigger collection. In summing it up, while folks have lots of fun doing the 48 Hour Film Project, they don’t make lots of money.
In Reno, we as a production company gather a group of film and video professionals to serve as our judges. These judges generally have extensive experience within the field. We require these judges to be fair and impartial. Our judges donate their time and talent to rate the films. In addition to determining the winner they also select a number of other awards.
The judges on the national/international level have included actors such as Julianne Moore, directors such as Simon West (Con Air), and editors such as Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, The Departed). But no matter how careful we are in selecting our judges, judging itself is extremely subjective.
So many times, two regarded critics feel markedly differently about the same film—remember the long debate between Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert about Apocalypse Now; remember Pauline Kael’s ambivalent review of Star Wars.
Similarly, on many occasions, our favorite 48 Hour Film Project film of the year has not even won its city. When it comes to evaluating art, a lot comes down to matters of taste.
Of course! Email Mark Ruppert, our Founder, to express interest, in the national chapter. If you want to sponsor Reno please email Ivey Smith (Reno’s 48 Hour Film Project City Producer) at email@example.com
No. Your film may be 7 minutes long plus 1 minute of credits.
Opening credits are allowed. They do not count against the credit time limit. However, they do count against the 7 minutes of the film. Remember, the audience is here to watch, not read.
Yes, however, the narrative must end before the closing credits begin. So outtakes, Ferris-Bueller-like antics, or bonus scenes are allowed. But if we removed the credits, the movie should still feel complete.
Absolutely! The only requirements are that you have a representative from your team at the Kickoff and that you deliver your film to the Drop Off. Other than that, it’s up to you. We’ve had teams shoot hundreds of miles away from their host city. We’ve even had a Boston team upload footage from Panama!
Stock film and video footage is prohibited, except as part of a special effects filter. However, if you have the rights to them, then stock photos are permitted. In other words, you may use photos not taken during the 48 hour time period. Note that photos cannot be used in sequence to create the illusion of motion.
Yes. However—while you may use still drawings created before the Project—you may not use sequences of drawings created before the Project to create the illusion of motion. Using existing images and 3D objects is permissible, provided that you have full and permanent rights to them. Again, only animation created during the 48 hour period is allowed. And, as with a live-action film, you must have all rights to the animation you submit.
You may use special effects that involve any of the allowed elements that you have rights to: still photographs, footage shot during the 48 hours, or footage rendered during the 48 hours. You may also use stock footage if it is part of a post-production effect or on a background screen or television and the stock footage is placed over or under footage that is shot within the 48 hours. Stock footage of people or other performers is not allowed.
Yes, provided that it begins the film and is shorter than five seconds long. Note that the logo does count against the 7-minute running time of the film.
Unless you are otherwise notified, your film will be shown in Standard Definition in stereo or mono. So you may shoot in HD or use surround sound, but the film will generally not be projected that way. Please make sure that you adhere to the format requirements found on The Reno page.
No. However, if the judges in your city cannot understand your film, they are less likely to give it awards.
It might be that you’ve got the drive formatted for the wrong file system. Generally, drives come formatted with the FAT32 file system, which cannot store files larger than 2GB. If you’re on a Mac, format your drive to Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). If you’re on a PC, format your drive to NTFS.
While it is rare that filmmakers shoot on film, it has happened a handful of times over the years. You must weigh the beauty of the picture and the experience of shooting on film with the time it takes to process the film. Teams who have done it in the past have had connections with labs that enabled them to develop the film with enough time for the teams to submit in the 48 hour time period. We were quite impressed!
No, only the team leader needs to sign it. However, everyone who works on the film must sign the Liability Waiver form. See the production documents page for more details.
A logline is a very short, catchy summary of the story, usually not longer than one sentence. We ask you to provide a logline for your film on the Wrap-Up Form. EXAMPLE: Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl seeks a way home to Kansas, befriending along the way a scarecrow without a brain, a tin woodsman without a heart, and a lion without courage.
Have the person who has the rights to the music or materials sign the release form. In the case of royalty-free materials, this is the person who purchased them. In the case of public domain materials, this could be anyone on the team. Please also include information that shows your rights to the music or materials, such as a license, a purchase receipt, or a statement by the author.
You may use Creative Commons music or materials that are Attribution Only. If the Creative Commons license is either Non-Commercial or Sharealike, it is not compatible with the 48 Hour Film Project’s Team Leader’s Agreement and therefore cannot be used.
No, but you may need a permit. We do not require you to prove to us that you received a permit, but you may be stopped from shooting or even fined if you do not have one. Please check with your local film commissioner.
No, we must actually see the required character in some way on the screen. Just being audible off-screen – like on the other end of a phone conversation – does not count. Remember, he/she need not be the star of the film, just make an appearance.
As long as the audience can infer who the character is, he/she doesn’t need to be further identified.