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Four Hour Film Challenge
The 4 Hour Film Challenge
Yep. It’s exactly what it says on the tin. Teams of film makers are challenged to make a film in just 4 hours, from concept, to shoot, to edit to delivery – screened to a live audience that same evening and panel of industry judges to decide on the winner. At midday the teams are each introduced to two professional actors to star in their movie, and a board of film titles are revealed for them to scramble over. The rest is up to them. It’s best not to panic but they always do.
The creators of the fastest of all digital shootouts is Newcastle production company, Magic If. Directors Bev Fox and Ian McLaughlin invented the challenge for a bit of fun. The first, held at the Cumberland Arms in 2007, proved so popular they have now presented five, getting bigger and more ambitious each time.
This year’s challenge was sponsored by NorthernNet, and was held in Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool simultaneously! The three way dig-fest was made possible due to the NorthernNet 1GBs network and MABs (Media Access Bureaus) in selected cinemas and media centres across the North, enabling creative connectivity and collaboration between cities. The Northernnet 4 Hour Film Challenge took place on 11 April 2010, and screened at the Tyneside Cinema Newcastle, FACT Picturehouse and Leeds Round Foundry - the winning film being Lost in Translation (Jamais) by Newcastle team Mook Films.
Bev Fox says “It was an organisational nightmare that took months of planning, but it was all absolutely worth it for the four hours of frenzied fun and the fifteen fantastic films made. We met some great talented people and we all made lots of new connections, leading onto new work for many involved”
Ian McLaughlin says “It’s not about perfection. It’s about what can be achieved when you’re smiling and adrenaline is coursing through your veins.”
To really see how the 4 Hour Film Challenge works watch the short Behind the Scenes Documentary produced by Magic If first. All the films are linked below.
For further info on the film-makers click on the You Tube icons, and for info on the actors visit the 4 Hour Film Challenge Facebook Page
Magic If is what you might call a cross-over production company, as they create work on film and on stage, and more often than not the two disciplines combine into one big happening. The Newcastle based company is managed by husband and wife team, Ian McLaughlin and Bev Fox. The pair have a long background in improvisation and are probably most well known in the Northeast as founder members of the Suggestibles, the hilarious improv comedy group who play every Xmas here at Northern Stage with their infamous Impro Pantso.
Bev and Ian returned to their native Northeast in 2003 after 16 years in London working with groups such as the Comedy Store Players and Improbable Theatre. They took up film making seriously in 2006 after their first film, Reunion (an improvised film produced in association with Live Theatre) won a Royal Television Society Commendation for innovation and originality. That same year their short film My World won an RTS Award for Best Production for a Target Audience, and their 1 minute film After took them to the BAFTAs as the regional winner of 60 Seconds of Fame. The following year their hilarious million+ hit viral video Pour Quoi and Archives won them two further RTS Awards for Best Entertainment and Best Production for a Target Audience respectively. Watch these films on the Magic If Media You Tube Channel.
They create projects independently and to commission, with firm roots in the community. Improvisation is always at the core of their process, polished with painstaking perfectionism to make their work so engagingly fresh and uniquely different. The best way to view their work is at Magic If’s You Tube page.
Where is it happening?