By EMILIE RUSCH
COLUMBIA — There’s a lot that goes into making a movie.
When squeezing that creative process into just 24 hours, as is the case with Columbia Access Television’s One Night Stand video competition this weekend, the results can be impressive.
“You would think two teams would come up with a similar idea, but they’re amazingly diverse,” CAT director Beth Federici said. “I’m always amazed at how creative people are with such little time and little sleep.”
CAT’s biannual video competition itself is nothing new to Columbia. This time around, though, CAT’s largest fundraiser came at a perfect time. The chronically underfunded public access channel has been lobbying to be included in the fiscal 2008 city budget, which could be approved as soon as Monday.
“We’d love to break $1,000,” Federici said. “As lots of people know, we’re running out of money. The timing worked out pretty perfectly.”
As many as 20 filmmaking teams will have 24 hours to create a 3- to 5-minute video. The catch is the genre and one prop will be decided at noon Saturday in a live broadcast at CAT’s studio to kick off the competition.
“That way you make sure the audience is seeing videos that are 24 hours fresh and it keeps producers up on their toes because they never know what they’re going to come up with,” organizer Chase Thompson said.
That could mean genres as diverse as science fiction, westerns or musicals featuring a surprise prop such as a newspaper or an object on wheels. In January, it was mockumentaries that had to incorporate hats, Thompson said.
Daniel and David Lopez, the team of brothers behind CAT’s “Asbestos We Can,” are looking forward to flexing their 24-hour filmmaking muscles for the first time, so much so that they are considering enlisting a third crew member.
“We’ll probably do what we always do — wing it,” Daniel Lopez said.
But of course, they agreed, they’d like to win.
“I think we’re capable of making the funniest movie we’ve ever seen,” David Lopez said.
One change from previous competitions is the five-hour gap between the videos’ deadline and their screening. The first One Night Stand took place in 2003.
The break should help filmmakers, Federici said, since many of them make use of every hour available to them.
“Some of these poor teams haven’t got to sleep or eat or take a shower — we felt really bad for them,” she said. “They were all wilty flowers.”
There to judge at The Blue Note on Sunday evening will be Doug Freeman, producer of CAT’s “The Scat Country Report” and co-owner of Spare Parts Gallery on Ninth Street and local filmmakers Seth Ashley and Kim Sherman. First, second and third place and the audience-choice awards will be recognized.
Freeman participated in the competition two years ago. His team didn’t win, but he said the experience was a fun one. Producing a video in 24 hours, he said, changes the whole dynamic as team members work back and forth to pull all the elements together.
“I’m looking forward to the wild creativity that comes in the mad rush to get a film done in 24 hours,” Freeman said. “Something always pops out that’s weird and wonderful.”
The limited time commitment, Federici said, will hopefully be a plus for filmmakers.
“You can just come and be creative for 24 hours and then turn it in,” she said. “To do a regular TV show for CAT, you have to commit a lot more time.”
Filmmaker and three-time Stand participant Nathan Truesdell agrees.
“It’s a laid back competition and it’s just fun to see what you can come up with in 24 hours,” he said. “You have a finished product in 24 hours, and that’s pretty nice.”
CAT will get $5 from every ticket and all of the $20 entry fees. DVDs of the entries will be available for $10 on Sunday at The Blue Note. For $15, you can buy a DVD with entries from 2005 through 2007. A raffle is also planned.