Sleep-deprived filmmakers will again push their mental and physical limits by participating in the sixth annual Down to the Wire: A 24-Hour Film Race this weekend.
Teams will have 24 hours from Saturday morning to Sunday morning to produce, write, shoot and edit a short film that is six minutes or less in duration — a gargantuan feat. All films are required to include elements that are randomly selected at the beginning of the race.
Films are judged and the top 10 will be shown in a showcase Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre. A joint venture between CreativeRush and the Tallgrass Film Association, the event continues to grow each year. Last year, 34 teams participated with 290 total team members. More than 1,000 people attended the top 10 showcase to cheer them on.
The race — a visceral rush that is giddily exhausting — is open to anyone and any experience level. Never acted before? No problem. Never held a camera in your life? Ditto.
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Teams must provide their own equipment, cast and crew, and all content must be original and created within the 24-hour time period. (Cheaters will be scorned, believe me.) Here is how it will all work:
▪ Teams can register online at www.dttwfilmrace.com and pay registration fees, which are $150 per team and $125 for students teams. Teams can have up to 15 people.
▪ Producers should scour the website and familiarize themselves with the race rules — which are expansive and detailed. They’re mostly designed to cover everyone’s bases and avoid copyright and other infringements.
Friday, June 16
▪ Team registration and producer check-in will be held from 6 to 6:59 p.m. at the Wichita Carnegie Library’s lecture hall at 220 S. Main. Producers will get a registration packet with all required documents. Producers must fill out and sign a participation agreement and register their team members. Those registering as student teams must have at least half of the team be students (elementary, middle school, high school or college) and provide student IDs.
▪ A required producer’s meeting will start at 7 p.m. Only one person from each team may attend the meeting (the producer and director can be the same person). Race organizers will go over the entire process and answer questions.
Saturday, June 17
▪ A required director’s meeting starts at 6:30 a.m. at the Wichita Carnegie Library lecture hall, where the secret elements that must be incorporated into the films will be revealed. Any last-minute questions will be addressed.
▪ The race starts promptly at 7 a.m.
Some things to remember as you race:
▪ Films must be six minutes or less from the start of the film to the end of the credits.
▪ Films must not contain anything pornographic, excessively vulgar or violent for the sake of violence.
▪ Teams are subject to disqualification for not following rules and procedures, and for not incorporating the secret elements into their films.
Sunday, June 18
▪ Film submission opens at 6 a.m. at the Tallgrass Film Association office at 212 N. Market. Film submission ends promptly at 7 a.m. If you get there at 7:01, you’re out of luck.
▪ Closed judging immediately follows, where all the films will be viewed.
▪ Top 10 showcase begins at 7 p..m. at the Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. Tickets are $10 for the general public, filmmakers and team members get in free. After each film is screened, a panel of VIP judges will critique each film and announce their choice for first, second and third place and best student film. The audience will vote on an audience choice award. This year’s VIP judges will be Michael Wunsch, Chad McClure and Devon Fasbinder. The showcase will be hosted by Emily Strom and Aaron Wirtz.
▪ Grand prize will be $1,000, a screening at the New York Film Critics Series Showcase and four VIP passes to the Tallgrass Film Festival in October. Second place is six binge passes to the festival. Third place is six opening night gala tickets to the festival. The audience award prize is a screening at the festival and six binge passes. An outstanding female-led team prize will be $500. Student spotlight prize is six binge passes to the festival.
For more information, go to www.dttwfilmrace.com.