Female, Solo and 16 years old!

Posted 6th June 2018

We always love getting feedback from our teams. We got this great feedback from Maria Shadbolt, the mother of one of our Wellington film-makers - Ilena Shadbolt from Queen Margaret College. We were super impressed with this young woman, she is 16-years old, completed the challenge solo and made a great film! It's called Fused - Check it out in the screening room.


My Mother's day consisted of anxiety and pride! I just sat back and watched as Ilena found her feet writing, directing, acting, composing, editing and everything in between for 'Fused’, her first and solo short film.  48Hours has been such an incredible platform for her, encouraging my first time teenage filmmaker to be creative in a short space of time and produce something that she was proud of.

As an onlooker though, I have some top tips from watching Ilena:

1. If your partner who you’re supposed to be making the film with pulls out on Friday morning, don’t panic, because you can make a pretty half-decent film anyway! 

2. Please, please don’t start filming at 6.30am Saturday morning waist deep in the sea, because besides only having 3 hours sleep and being likely to catch a cold, running into the sea in the outfit you're filming in for the rest of the day is not a good idea, for the laundry or your sanity.

3. Have back up, fully charged camera batteries on hand, and make sure before the shoot weekend that your editing laptop actually has space- Ilena found out the hard way what running out of batteries and space can be like. 

4. Possibly have more than one driving lesson before trying to balance a camera on your dashboard to film yourself driving \ through the Mt Vic tunnel for the first time (yes, she wasn’t just acting, the fear was real)

The only words spoken in 48hours were 'Mum, I promise, you and I will celebrate Mother's Day properly once I've finished this film' and "Mum, get out of my room, I know what I need to do’.

In truth, the real Mother’s Day treat was to marvel as Ilena took the assigned elements and genre of technological thriller from a ‘hey… what about we use this wig?’ idea driving back from Massey on Friday night to handing over the USB with her short film 47 hours and 40 minutes later. Sanity…barely intact and eyes tired, but elated to have done it.

The long-term ripple effect this competition has on allowing and enabling grassroots film-making is incredible and is the real gift that 48Hours brings. Every single film has been nothing short of inspirational and the support that Ilena received from everyone left me speechless. Our little NZ community really is one of a kind!