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how to make a film in 48 hours

this weekend the team participated in the 48 hour film project in melbourne.

we made a film in 48 hours. again.

we thought we’d share an easy how-to guide for future participants.

  1. arrive super early on time, but expect that genres are being distributed at kick-off time.  go into the venue at ten-to-kick-off-o’clock and discover everyone else has their genre and the only one left is something you don’t like
  2. take the wildcard
  3. draw a genre that speaks to your weaknesses.
  4. argue with your loved ones for three hours.
  5. take the elements, genre, and spatterings of plot elements you have and feed them into your screenwriting computer (a.k.a adam tzinis)
  6. go to bed at stupid in the morning.
  7. wake up and make a movie!
  8. go to bed at stupid in the morning.
  9. begin editing with scrutiny and critical artistry.
  10. lower standards.
  11. panic on the internet for a few hours trying to find free music that isn’t terrible.
  12. leave lots of time for exporting your film.
  13. rejoice after your computer takes five minutes to export your film.
  14. read comics until one-hour-before deadline.
  15. drive and then freak out because what if the USB you put your movie on is bad??? YOU LEFT THE LAPTOP AT HOME
  16. hand in the movie.
  17. PANIC.
  18. have awkward conversations with strangers.
  19. #networking
  20. go home.

congratulations, you made a movie in 48 hours.


how to make 4K footage look like it was shot on VHS

these instructions assume you know what you’re doing, so they’re not very detailed.

footage taken at 4K UHD in a blackmagic production camera


really flat, hey?

da vinci resolve: apply preferred 3D bmpcc4k lut to rec.709. drop contrast. move wheels to pink. hue vs. sat curves: max sat magenta, drop the rest.


end result is super ugly like this.  we’re aiming to make footage look poorly exposed and damage. encode and deliver to prores hq.

photoshop: make a 4:3 oblong in a UHD canvas. make 4:3 oblong transparent. save as .psd.

premiere pro: import footage and oblong overlay.  use overlay to compose 4:3 shot. effects -> transform -> crop; crop footage to match composed frame. delete overlay.

buy or trial this tool from red giant.

effect -> universe stylize -> vhs

drag onto footage.  play with it until it looks the way you want it to.


looks better in motion because you can see all the grain dancing about the frame. still shows off the rainbow interlacing tho.

you can adjust the destruction to your palette.  we were trying to make it look like an old home video movie. we were pretty happy.