Skip to main content
Performing Art
Alex Gooch sets up a stand alone shot of the film's main character.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8 years ago

Filmmakers scramble in two-day competition

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

East County resident Kevin Hillman didn’t waste one moment as he and his small team of friends and acting recruits huddled in the living room of Hillman’s Las Palmas condo Saturday.

There, he and longtime friend Alex Gooch, of Ohio, recorded their latest adventure, a short film titled “Power Trip,” with cameras. And by the weekend’s end, their dark comedy was finished — written, filmed and edited all within 48 hours for the 48 Hour Guerilla Film Competition.

“We love a challenge,” Hillman said. “We love doing video. For us, we just wanted to make something entertaining and good.”

Hillman’s work is one of 165 entries worldwide entered in the Sarasota-based contest. Submitted short films will be aired on the big screen June 11 at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas.

“It’s great,” Hillman’s friend Amy Capomaccio, a writer, said of the contest. “For me, every day, you go to work and you are forced to be creative on something you have to do. On this, you can let go. It’s every person’s idea coming together.”

Upon the contest’s start on May 13, each team received a random genre and a random line of dialogue as well as a random prop, location, action (or combination thereof) they were required to include in their film. Points are docked if teams don’t use their assignments, which are meant to help ensure filming and editing are completed within the 48-hour window, as well as to foster creativity.

“The rubric is designed to weigh more heavily originality and creativity,” contest director Clint Weldon said. “Lighting and good technology could lose to a kid (filming) with (a) camera. Everyone competes on an even playing field. You compete against professionals, and it’s the best story wins. Entertain us.”

Competitors earn a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize, and, thanks to the support of the Sarasota Film Society, a guaranteed opportunity to see their short films featured on the big screen.

The Film Society will host the 48 Hour Guerrilla Film Festival, a showing of all the films from the competition, from 9 a.m. to noon, June 11, at the Lakewood Ranch Cinemas.

“You come out to about 20-plus hours of original films that will have been made by the end of (the) weekend,” Weldon said, noting films are between five and seven minutes apiece.

The winner also will earn a meeting with Lakewood Ranch-based production company Sanborn Studios and a chance to pitch the company a movie idea. If there’s no movie to pitch, the winner will instead get a tour of the studio and enjoy a “filmmakers getaway weekend” in Sarasota, with a rain check on any future movie ideas, Weldon said.

Additional awards in the categories of best directing, best editing, best acting, and people’s choice, among others, also will be announced.

Weldon said this year’s competition included 165 entries from around the world, including Chile, Ireland, Australia and Ukraine, among others. Foreign films must either be completed in English or have subtitles, he said.

“As long as we can understand your film, you could probably win,” Weldon said.

Last year’s event, which was open just to filmmakers in Florida, featured the work of 20 teams.

The John H. Lamensdorph Memorial Trust, founded in honor of an aspiring Sarasota filmmaker who died in an on-set accident and is a past-participant of the 48 Hour Guerrilla Film Competition, is funding the cash prize.

For more information about the film contest or to view entries from last year, visit

The 48 Hour Guerrilla Film Competition Creative was founded by film enthusiasts Nick Burch and Steven Coleman about six years ago.

“They were film nerds who talked about movies all the time and complained about movies all the time, but they never went out and made movies,” contest director Clint Weldon said. “The idea was born out of that. You take away all the excuses and go do it.”

48 Hour Guerrilla Film Festival
WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon, June 11
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive #8, Lakewood Ranch

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

Related Stories