In the 48 Hour Film Project, teams are given that amount of time to make a short film incorporating several elements that aren't revealed until just before the event starts. These include a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue.
Those who deliver late will not be eligible to compete for a prize but get a screening of their films anyway.
Two genres are offered, and the group can decide which one they want to use or they can combine the two.
Genres include road movie, romance, sci-fi, and horror in one group, and more specific categories like buddy film, martial arts, mystery, period piece and war or anti-war in the second group. The films have to be between four and seven minutes long.
For a look at some of the films made by London groups in previous years, see this page.
Winners get a trophy and a shot at the $5000 top prize in the international event where all the local winners compete. The overall winners also get a screening at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017.
In addition, the creators have something that shows what they can do, as well as the fun and satisfaction of the process itself.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING NEAR YOU?
The weekends are scheduled throughout the year. For London, it will probably be in September (they haven't set a firm date yet). To see when it is in the city nearest you, check out the list here.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN 48 HOURS?
This challenge is a good example of what people can do when they have a deadline, some givens, and the energy of a team.
What could you achieve in 48 hours? Could you write a short story? The core outline of a novel? Several chapters of a book? A painting or even series of paintings?
Those examples are not usually team efforts, but you could build in a few sessions in which you get and give feedback on each other's projects.
It doesn't have to be film or writing related. Could you transform a vacant lot into a tiny park (with the permission of the owners and any necessary licenses, of course), or--going back to films--make a mini-documentary that a local charity can use to help promote its work?
CONCENTRATING YOUR MIND
There's a Samuel Johnson quote to the effect that knowing that one is about to be hanged in a fortnight's time concentrates the mind wonderfully. Knowing that one can achieve something useful in 48 hours and have fun at the same time can have the same benefit--without the drawback.