NZBS team takes most ever wins at Christchurch 48HOURS

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21 Sep 2017

Pre-planning and teamwork are the keys to surviving and succeeding in the HP 48HOURS film competition according to the winners of the Christchurch city finals, New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) team Free Chicken (Micah Winiata, Mason Cade Packer, Alex Hill, Scott Jackson, Oliver Corboy and George Sharman).

“Basically, the best experience on the weekend of the HP 48HOURS was working with everyone in the team. It was great being able to delegate and get other students with specific skill sets to help out and do their task thoroughly,” Director Micah Winiata says.

A screenshot from Free Chicken's winning short film.

“We had pre-planned a lot of potential challenges which were accounted for earlier on, but safe to say we didn't encounter any horror stories... a peaceful 48 hours!”

The calm, cool and collected approach worked, winning the team not only the overall Christchurch regional city final but also best script, best editing, best cinematography and best director - giving Free Chicken the most ever nominations and the most ever wins at any Christchurch regional final. 

HP 48 Hours is NZ's largest guerrilla film-making competition. At the start of the weekend (Friday 25 August 7pm to Sunday 27 August 7pm), teams are given compulsory elements and a genre. A weekend of filmmaking mayhem then begins as teams frantically script, cast, shoot, cut and edit a short film within the crucial 48 hour timeframe. Emotions can often run high as sleep-deprivation sets in and the pressure mounts.  

But not for Free Chicken. The team even had time to create an introduction, Micah says. “What I like most about our film is mostly how it was shot, but overall our team introduction. We had the option of making a small team intro that would introduce us as a team. It's a classic 'scary car' intro which is just pretty great,” he says.

“I always find it hard to describe our film, because as I was writing it I was nearly taking any suggestion - random ideas in all - but it's basically a film about making a decision and the potential infinite outcomes of one choice.”

For 2017, filmmaking teams had to incorporate a female character, a collision, a technical element of a smash cut and a Wilhelm scream sound effect. Free Chicken was randomly assigned the ‘Bad Seed’ genre and could choose form a list of themes such as redemption, love or vengeance.

Films can be viewed on www.48hours.co.nz following the grand final on 11 November. Now in its 15th year, the event attracts some 800 teams from around the country, competing for the title and prize packages of cash, equipment and access to professional facilities.

Insight: Joe Coughlan from 2016 Christchurch winners Pigs Guts films interviews 48 Hours veterans Strang Films (both NZBS graduates)

Explore: NZBS at Ara