Friendly Film Competition

Aspiring filmmakers make movies in a flash for 24 Hour Video Race

Aspiring filmmakers make movies in a flash for 24 Hour Video Race

The 24 Hour Video Race, now in its 12th year, is a mad dash undertaken by scads of aspiring filmmakers every year. Put on by Dallas VideoFest, it takes the normally long process of making a short film and condenses it into just one day.

This year's 24 Hour Video Race took place on May 10, with multiple teams in seven categories, only five of which ended up being judged. Teams were sent out on the streets of Dallas with directions to use four specific elements in their films. These elements had to be important to the plot, not just randomly plopped in.

 Some teams are more successful than others, but overall the quality is such that you'd guess they had way more than one day to complete their films.

Filmmakers were required to use the theme of recycling; a phone book as a prop; one of the DallasBig B&G spots that have popped up around Dallas as a location; and JFK's famous line, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" in the dialogue.

Every film that finished on time was screened at Angelika Film Center Dallas on Monday, May 20, and yours truly was asked to be a judge. I was joined on the panel by Steve Alford, owner of Alford Media and friend of Dallas VideoFest for many years; Lee Papert from the Dallas International Film Festival; and Casey Gooden, who produced Shane Carruth's latest film, Upstream Color.

I have judged the competition for several years now, and I'm still more than a little surprised by what teams can come up with in such a compressed time period. Some are more successful than others, but overall the quality is such that you'd guess they had way more than one day to complete their films.

Concepts in the three categories I judged — Pixelvision (high school or younger), Futurevision (college) and Auteur (single-member teams) — ranged wildly, from a take-off on The Real World to a pseudo silent film. Deep Ellum and the Dallas Arts District were popular locations, most likely due to their proximity to DART train stations and to the locations of several B&G letters.

Worthy winners emerged from each category, including one about intertwining relationships (seen in the video clip above) and a poignant drama featuring a homeless man. Each winning team went home with a glass trophy and the pride of creating an interesting and entertaining film in just one day.

​Full list of winners

Pixelvision: Space Team
Futurevision:​ GDV
Auteur: Knockaround Guy
Guerilla (2-5 team members): The Fightin' Cobras
Hollywood (6+ team members): Panther City Productions

24 Hour Video Race of Dallas
24 Hour Video Race director Bart Weiss with team GDV, winners of the Futurevision category. 24 Hour Video Race of Dallas/Facebook
24 Hour Video Race of Dallas
Lee Papert (not pictured), Casey Gooden, Steve Alford and Alex Bentley were judges for the 2013 24 Hour Video Race. 24 Hour Video Race of Dallas/Facebook
Dallas Big letters
24 Hour Video Race teams were required to use a DallasBig B&G spot as one of their locations. Luis Tamayo/Flickr
24 Hour Video Race of Dallas
24 Hour Video Race of Dallas
Dallas Big letters