The 48 Hour Film Project returns to London this October

Short films are a great way to get involved in amateur filmmaking and the 48 Hour Film Project will really throw you in at the deep end.

The premise is simple – you work in teams to make a seven-minute film in one weekend from Friday at 7:00pm to Sunday at 7.00pm.

The project has been running across the world since 2001 and has even featured people like Martin Freeman and Penn, of magical duo Penn and Teller, in front of the camera.

The short films are then screened the following week with a chance to win awards and share the work.

Here at The Video Mode we’ve prepared a list of some advice to help get you through the weekend.

Swot up on your film genres

Fifteen minutes before the competition begins, each team is assigned a genre which ranges from “fish out of water” to “slapstick.” Therefore, it’s a good idea to know your film genres well so you can hit the ground running from the start.

Get a team together

There are no limits on team sizes, ranging from one all the way up to 116 people in past projects. We would recommend getting a good few people you work well with and delegating the tasks between you as you’ll be spending a lot of time together.

Make sure to start the weekend fully charged

When the low battery warning appears on your DSLR when you’re out on a shoot it can all get very stressful, very quickly. This is even more the case when you’re on a tight schedule.

The camera’s not the only thing that suffers when low on energy so be sure to keep yourself fuelled with food and lots of coffee through the long days of shooting.

Make sure you start the weekend as you mean to go on – fully charged.

Manage your time

As you might imagine, projects like this are all about watching the clock. While the shot you want might not be perfect, rather than spend eight hours repeating it, it’s important to be adaptable.

And yes, sleeping comes into this – unless you’ve picked horror as your genre, you probably don’t want your crew to be walking around like zombies.

Get practising

While you won’t know your genre until just before you start, there’s nothing to stop you practising your filmmaking crafts.

On that note it’s probably not the best idea to use the project to make your first short film.

There is still time to register for this year’s 48 Hour Film Project which takes place in London from October 13 to 15.

It costs £110 per team if you register before September 14 and £125 thereafter.