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2000 teams competed in the VF48HOUR: LOCKDOWN mini film challenge

Emma Olsen
VF 49 HOURS LOCKDOWN  48 Hours / Facebook

Over 2000 teams participated in this weekend's VF48HOUR: LOCKDOWN film challenge.

The Vista Foundation 48-hour mini filmmaking challenge attracted over 2000 teams this weekend, compared to just 500 last year.

National Manager Ruth Korver said it was exciting to have so many teams, both new and old, to the competition. 

"We've made the cost free because we managed to get some sponsorship on board so I think that meant a lot more people entered than normally would. There's also nothing else to do, and people are bored."

After having to postpone due to the nationwide lockdown, the organisers devised a mini competition for the meantime.

"We got a few questions from teams saying 'hey, could we run a mini-competition in lockdown because that would be fun' and we had sort of been thinking about it and after talking to a couple of sponsors decided it would be a good idea."

Just like the annual competition, contestants had to write, shoot, cut and deliver a film up to three minutes long, all in just 48 hours. Teams didn't find out their genre until the start of the competition and had to include some random elements.

Ruth said the biggest challenge for organisers would be going through all the films due to the massive increase in teams. 

Camera positioning for an outside shot
Camera positioning for an outside shot of the 'Whodunnit' film Hannah Boniface

Hannah Boniface, a second-year Television and Screen student at the New Zealand Broadcasting School, rounded up her flatmates to make a team of five. 

The majority of Hannah's team had competed in the challenge before and almost made the shortlist last year but just fell shy.

This year their genre was 'Whodunnit', which the team was very excited for, deciding on a film about a woman whose toast was stolen and she was trying to figure out which one of her flatmates snatched it.

"It took us 12 hours to decide on the idea because we found ourselves going around in circles. Filming then ended up taking us the majority of Saturday and a lot of Sunday which left us with about six hours to edit everything."

Hannah thinks her film stands out because it's fun and out of the box.

"Hopefully the judges laugh and appreciate the juxtaposition of the genre."

Crystal Main actress in one of the scenes
Krystal who is the main actress, acting in one of the scenes Hannah Boniface

Another contestant, Jake Fearon, used his bubble of seven to come up with a film about a group of monsters playing a tabletop game in which they role-play as humans.

The urban fantasy genre confused Jake's group at first and required a bit of googling before they endured six hours of brainstorming their idea.

"Our filming and editing process took 16 hours each and the biggest difficulty we came across was getting consistently good audio and sound."

Both Hannah and Jake are extremely tired from the process but said they will undoubtedly be taking part in next year's challenge. 

Jake editing his film
Jake Fearon editing his film Jake Fearon

The top films will be screened on TV2 in a one-hour finals show and the top film will receive $5000.

The judges include Sir Peter Jackson, Edgar Howard Wright, Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira, Tom Sainsbury and Rick Kalowski.

The VF48HOURS: LOCKDOWN special challenge wouldn't have been possible without the support of New Zealand on Air, The Vista Foundation and The New Zealand Film Commission, with broadcast partners TVNZ and The Spinoff.