VF48Hours Lockdown Forum

From: Scouting is a thing
Since: May 2011
Posts: 38

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The message from the organisers this year was not good.

This was my 8th 48hrs, and probably my last if next year's the same.
Unfortunately, it really seems like the organisation doesn't care about the entrants at all and it's really ruining what should be a good time. I know there are some city organisers that really go the extra mile so please don't take this personally.

Most of the issues I have are with communication and corner cutting.

I understand that Ant now has particularly easy access to the Hollywood, but no effort was made to actually make it work for the venue. Half the teams in my heat had no voting papers because of the split level situation. People who went back down to ask for them were accused of cheating. It was just about impossible to socialise with other teams because there wasn't any space, and people were left standing in the rain when heats ran late.

Sending a text less than 24 hours before the event was lame, you knew where the venue was and what the restrictions would be and could have given decent notice.

Which brings me to the other big issue: comms. We know the 48hrs database works because we all get Timpson productions spam. It would've taken two minutes to send out a "thanks! Heat info is now up here (link) email. I know at least one new team missed out on seeing their film on the big screen with an audience because of this.

While I expect some backlash about prizes not being the point, the fact that "$130,000 in prizes!" was advertised, the actual prize list remained suspiciously blank until after the comp started. The cynical part of me suspects the fact that half of this value was a one year subscription to (google drive + Wipster) is part of the reason for keeping things under wraps.

I'm just very frustrated with the declining qol elements of an event I look forward to every year which is losing entrants at a rapid pace.

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From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 23

Hi Shane,

This year has been a big rush to get things sorted, especially here in Auckland where we're also managing the rest of the country. But hey it was either get stuck in and make it work or not have one this year.

The Hollywood is a great venue and the problems we had on the first night were from there being more than 20 people per team as per the city info which was compounded by the rain and people rushing past where the voting forms were being handed out. When our volunteers went to hand out more papers upstairs and downstairs there were very few takers. Our deepest apologies to anyone who thought they were being accused of cheating asking for more papers after the heat, it's clearly a problem of miscommunication from our volunteers (who handed out more voting forms than should be expected for 15 teams of 20). Yesterday we had a debrief before the evening heats and discussed all this and in comparison last night went super smoothly. The A/V setup at the Hollywood far outstrips the Academy and so that's why we wanted the heats there.

I'm going to assume that the new team that missed out on their film screening was the one that emailed me and I had to remind them their film hadn't played yet and they ended up placing in the audience awards last night.

We've been promoting the City Info pages on both the website and on Facebook (which cross posts to Twitter); that's 3 places that mentioned the heat dates originally. When registrations closed (with Auckland numbers not far off the previous year) we put up specific heat and genre numbers for all teams before the competition.

We want to see this competition continue to grow and develop in the coming years because we have been competing for the past 11 years ourselves and know where we'd like to see it go. We're also very interested in what everyone else thinks we should be doing as well; so as cheesy as it sounds your feedback is appreciated.

Johnathan Guest
Operations Manager
HP48 Hours 2016

Johnathan Guest
Halcyon Entertainment
14 time 48Hours entrant
2018 Auckland City Winner

From: Christchurch
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 95

We're stupidly lucky down here in Christchurch. Andrew runs a smooth machine.

I've done this for 11 years now. And sure, some elements/genres will always be less good than others. This year I didn't like Wool as a prop, but meh. It was better than a comb.

As a team I think we had more fun than any other year.

I still don't know what the prizes are. I still don't care. That's not why we enter. We enter to force ourselves up off the couch and onto the film set. I'm just stoked we could enter this year as I'd given up once the previous sponsors pulled out.

The competition is a framework for TBALC to Do A Thing. Hopefully one day we'll also Do Things outside HP48. But we will, I'm sure, keep coming back for the midnight insanity.

2014: THE EX
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Sam Spooner
From: Auckland
Since: May 2012
Posts: 91

in reply to Freezingfire:

Excellent response Jonathan, I'm really looking forward to my heat on Saturday and its awesome to see that you guys are improving things as time goes on.

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From: wellington
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 334

Oh man it kind of breaks my heart to see the organisers accused of corner cutting. I know everyone behind the scenes works bloody hard to make this the best short film competition in the world (which I genuinely think it is) :(

Thanks for the feedback though Yossarian, and great reply Johnathan!


Robstar Rapper
From: Gisborne
Since: Jun 2013
Posts: 129

Gisborne heats have yet to begin, but our city manager Tom seems to be doing an excellent job of promoting the Finals and all the publicity in the papers.

I'm also friends with Hamilton Manager Jake and from what I've heard everything is 'sweet as'

Must be just the large volume of people in the bigger cities.

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From: Christchurch
Since: May 2015
Posts: 96

I have no idea about the other cities, but in Christchurch the organisation has run like a well-oiled machine.

I feel Andrew Todd gets to know the teams very well, and also get the impression he really enjoys watching the films. Always feel safe with the organisation in his hands.

Mad Scientist

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Josh Howard
From: Hamilton
Since: May 2011
Posts: 73

Other than a technical glitch at the launch, Hamilton has run great so far. Jake has done a great job.

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From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 291

Our heat tonight (Heat 6) was great. Well organised and well run. There was an MC to introduce things - not sure if this was introduced after this post or not - but having run a number of events myself, on a much smaller scale, I can only imagine the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes on something this big.

I appreciate Yossarian's frustrations above, not every part of any event goes smoothly, but the organisers try to deal with issues as best they can when they arise. Normally the number of people at a heat is minimal, which is why they tell you to bring cast & crew and family etc - for instance there were plenty of seats at our heat tonight - so I guess that caught them off guard at your heat.

This was my 10th year in the comp and I've found the 48 team to be professional and very helpful every year.

With regards the prizes, each to their own. I've never entered this comp for the prizes (apart from wanting to win the Ape statue of course), I usually enter because it is my only chance each year to dedicate a whole weekend to having fun making a movie.

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From: Huntly
Since: May 2011
Posts: 40

some of these points are key. People, the first lesson that they taught us back in university when I was working security for Duran Duran and U2 was the primacy of comms.


From: Scouting is a thing
Since: May 2011
Posts: 38

Thanks for the in depth and considered response Johnathan.
While I appreciate the scale of the operation, most of the frustrations I've expressed are ten minute jobs - this is where it's frustrating. I think relying on people having tweets and facebook posts show up in their feeds to receive key info is a mistake for pretty obvious reasons, and if nothing else I hope that you really look into better communications next year - more info, when you have it, and clearly and effectively distributed.

Re the Hollywood - 15x15 is 225 people. 225 people cannot fit in the lobby of the Hollywood. The more than twenty people excuse just doesn't really fly, as I honestly doubt it's accuracy - We only had ten, the cinema was nowhere near full etc. I get that the Hollywood is where it happens now, and we all know why. The thing about 48, and I genuinely believe this is for a lot of entrants, is the community aspect. That's the reason people don't enter one of the numerous free to enter larger scale film comps instead. Tbh, I don't know how you solve this with the venue you have, and also don't expect you to change venues.

Re the voting papers - yes a volunteer came up, handed out three or four in the back row on the right, and then gave up and walked off. As for "miscommunication" and "people thinking they were being accused of cheating" - our DP was told, to her face, by your staff, "You can't have them because you'll just vote for your own film over and over again". That's not miscommunication, that's an accusation. Please don't brush it off so lightly with a little spin.

I make music to go with pictures, and music to just be by itself. You can email me if you would like:

From: Hamilton
Since: Mar 2013
Posts: 65

in reply to weebey:

Was this Red Badge by any chance?


From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 15

in reply to DogsBreakfast:

Have to say I agree. Went very smoothly. BTW, I LOVED your film. My fave of the night :) Even though I voted for mine first, of course. LOL.

Team Just 2 Guys... only I'm just one guy... one fat guy... so I guess I am two guys?

From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 297

Shane, I love you man, but what the hell is this bullshit?

What happened at your heat with the voting slips was absolutely shitty, and you're absolutely right to raise it with the organisers. However, Johnathan has handled it brilliantly, and the tone of your posts is way out of line. There's always a way to raise these things constructively without being a dick.

Johnathan listened, talked to his volunteers, and took steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. What more can he do short of time travel?

"Brush it off so lightly with a little spin" ?? ­čśé This kind of comment, especially combined with your weird insinuations around the choice of venue, as if it's some kind of grand conspiracy that they're using the Hollywood because they now own it, not to mention your batshit-crazy comments around keeping the prize pack secret, all makes you come across like a bit of a tin foil hat lunatic.

OF COURSE they would use the Hollywood this year?! To a lot of us film nerds it's like a home-away-from-home and seeing our films in that particular theatre is a dream come true. The presentation of the films was exquisite - better than at any other past venue. You're not uncovering some big secret, and framing it that way is just juvenile. The organisers of an event that requires a cinema happen to own a cinema, and they used it for their event?! No!!

It's a huge job, with new city managers that are in their first year on the job, and there were some teething issues on the first night. They learned from it, made adjustments, and from all accounts both Wednesday and Thursday have been seamless.

The organizers of this comp have always been very open to criticism and feedback, and Johnathan's response to you shows that this is still the case. I just don't understand why you've got to be so hostile?

Oh, and you know that spam means unsolicited, right? If you don't want to be on Ant's mailing list, may I suggest that you unsubscribe?

Looking forward to talking about this in person over a beer. You had a real issue to raise here, but you lost both legs you were standing on by being so unnecessarily hostile.


From: Scouting is a thing
Since: May 2011
Posts: 38

Well, that's the pottest pot to ever pot a kettle.

I make music to go with pictures, and music to just be by itself. You can email me if you would like:

Andrew Todd
From: Christchurch
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 680

It's worth noting that even sending emails to teams does not guarantee the information will get across. Every year, I send a bunch of emails to Christchurch teams, updating them on launch, hand-in, heats, audience favourites, finalists, and so on. And every year, I still get:

- error messages from teams who entered their email addresses incorrectly when registering
- teams who didn't receive official emails because their email servers (usually schools or Hotmail) nuke anything from unknown senders
- teams who straight-up don't check or read their email, for whatever reason
- team leaders who don't notify the rest of their teams as to the information in the emails.

Making things worse, only one of those issues (Mail Undelivered notices) can actually be quickly identified and followed up on.

Point is, all we can do is put the information out there (via email, Facebook, website, or whatever). We can't force people to look at it.

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Mista Teas
From: Christchurch
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 554

At least the forum is starting to kick off. I know that's not helpful but just saying...:)

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From: Auckland
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 664

in reply to Mista Teas:

At least the forum is starting to kick off.


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From: Wellington
Since: Apr 2011
Posts: 1367

in reply to Mista Teas:

Viva la forum

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From: Scouting is a thing
Since: May 2011
Posts: 38

Vive! In all seriousness I think it's probably best to just move onto a different comp. I'd hoped for an acknowledgement that the parts of 48 that made it special to me were important and would be resolved. Unfortunately, the reasons I enjoyed this particular challenge seem to be lower on the priority list then other things.
And that's OK! It just means it isn't for me.

All the best to everyone (except Al :p)

I make music to go with pictures, and music to just be by itself. You can email me if you would like: