This year’s Los Angeles 48 Hour Film Project takes place August 2-4. If you’re unfamiliar with the competition, its apt name is a good place to start. The competition began as a filmmaking experiment between friends and now claims to be the “oldest and largest timed filmmaking competition.”

Participating teams are required to write, shoot and edit a short film over the course of one weekend. Each team selects the genre for their project through a random drawing scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on August 2. Each team also receives a line, character and prop, all of which must be incorporated into their short film. The clock officially starts at 7 p.m. on Friday and ends at 7 p.m. on Sunday, by which time all participants must submit their completed films. Each film must be between four and seven minutes in length. 

All submitted films will screen at a local theater, and those that have successfully met all competition requirements will be entered to win the Best Film of 2019 award for Los Angeles. The 48 Hour Film Project takes place in 130 different cities, and the winning film from each city is eligible to be selected for the grand prize of $5,000. More than the cash prize, the chance to have their films be among those the 48 Hour Film Project takes to the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner is what motivates more than a few filmmakers.

Jonas Grosserhode, an actor and filmmaker known for his work on “Grimm” and “The Little Picture,” is participating in his fourth 48 Hour Film Project this weekend and gave Casting Networks his firsthand perspective on the competition. 


Jonas Grosserhode

What’s your experience with previous 48 Hour Film Projects? 

The previous three I participated in took place in Oregon—the first two in my hometown of Hood River and the third in Astoria. It’s kind of daunting because I’m a little fish coming from a little pond to Los Angeles. I’m competing with teams who have entire production studios, full budgets, entire crews, etc. They basically do this for a living all throughout the year and decide to come together and make a film for the 48 Hour Film Project. 


 What are you looking forward to about participating in LA this year?

Even though it’s a far larger scale, it’s still very exciting. Having 48 hours to create an entire short film is a challenge for anyone to go for. I’m very much looking forward to the competition and seeing what everybody’s able to come up with. I’m part of a team that’s going to do something a little bit different this year. I unfortunately can’t go into too many specifics of what it’s going to be, but we’re hoping that we can pull off something impossible that’s never been done before.


What do you feel is the best thing participants glean from the competition? 

It makes all of these filmmakers realize they can make a movie. You get the opportunity to work with an amazing team. No one sleeps, but everyone’s having the time of their lives because we’re doing what we love to do. It is truly a growing experience as an artist, as a filmmaker and as a storyteller. I hope everybody can walk away from the 48 Hour Film Project knowing that it is super possible to make films and do what we love, even when we don’t think that there’s ever enough time for it. 


Actors and filmmakers interested in participating in future competitions will find themselves in good company. Martin Freeman appeared in one of the short films made for a previous 48 Hour Film Project in London. And if you thrive under pressure, it’s technically not too late to register for this year’s competition in LA. The competition’s site offers late registration, which doesn’t end until August 2. And even if competitions aren’t your cup of tea, the next time you find yourself on a set and time is tight, you can still utilize the two secret weapons that Grosserhode plans to use to get through this weekend’s 48 Hour Film Project: positivity and Red Bull. 


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