PRAIRIE GRASS CHALLENGE
480 Hour Challenge
Imagine having the luxury of time to craft your script, coach your actors, do re-shoots and edit to your heart’s content. Aaaah. The 480-Hour competition. While not a huge amount of time (about 3 weeks), it is certainly longer than 48 hours! We predict that most teams will want to compete in the 48 hours because it’s fun, fast and furious. But we also know that there are filmmakers out there who would love a little more time to reach perfection in their films. If that’s you, then this is your category.
Here are a few FAQ’s about this option:
Start Time: December 31, 2012, at 4 p.m.
End Time: Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 4 p.m. (same as the 48-Hour competition)
Submission: Online. Details will come once teams sign up. Film must be 8 to 10 minutes long.
Cost: $35 entry fee.
Who can be on the team: That’s up to you, but your team members, cast, and crew must be volunteers. NO PAID PROFESSIONALS.
Are there different categories, like in the 48-Hour competition: No, all films submitted in this category will be judged equally.
At 4 p.m. on launch day, you will receive an email guiding you to an online NEWS SITE that Prairie Grass Headquarters will choose. On that news site, you will select a story from THAT DAY’S NEWS. From that story, you will choose a story element or a character or an event, and you will create a script around it. When you submit your film, you will also submit the story and event you chose. JUDGES WILL DETERMINE IF YOU USED THIS NEWS STORY TO GENERATE YOUR SCRIPT. If the connection between the news story and your script is weak, points will be deducted. If the link is obvious, points will be awarded.
Good Example: HQ sends you a link to an online newspaper. You and your crew read through the news and discover a story about a woman in Idaho who raises raccoons. The woman’s name is Jennifer. It’s an unusual story. You decide to incorporate a character into your film named Jennifer, and somehow, raccoons make it into your story. When the judges see the story you chose, and see how a few elements from that story made it into your film, they will see the strong connection and award points accordingly.
Bad Example: HQ sends you the link. You discover a story about a murderer named Pickle. You incorporate a character into your film named Pickle, but that’s the ONLY connection to the news story. Judges will determine this to be a very weak connection between your film and the news story and award points accordingly.
Why do it this way?
For this 20-Day option, we don’t want to restrict you by assigning a genre, character, etc., like we do with the 48-Hour competition. We want you to have more freedom. At the same time, to make this fair for all teams, we need to make sure each team starts with a blank slate on launch day, and doesn’t have a script completely written and ready to go. By giving all teams the same link at the exact same time, and demanding an obvious connection between your film and the link you received, we go a long ways toward keeping everyone honest.
Should I do 48 hours or 480 hours?
While the 48-hour timeline is thrilling and fun, some filmmakers get frustrated with their inability to add more polish, take a little more time to refine the script, go a little deeper, and spend more time editing. Having 20 days solves that problem, while still giving the motivation of a deadline. Either way, your film will be judged and screened and one deemed “Best of Show” in its category. Give it some thought: 20 days, or 2? It’s totally your call.