Note: this is part three, see the first part for the introduction and disclaimer.
If all goes well, your effort should unfold something like this:
Before the competition: triple check the equipment. Do an end-to-end test by shooting some test footage, editing it into a short clip, and outputting it into the final format. Double check that the resulting file meets the requirements of the competition and take note of how long everything took. Remember to estimate how long your film will take to render and subtract that from the 48 hours you think you have to finish. Do this a couple of days beforehand so you have time to organise any replacement equipment should you need to.
Make sure that you have replacement batteries and recording media. Trust me on this.
On the Friday night: Send along a couple of people to the 48Hour kickoff event. The rest of the team should assemble somewhere quiet and comfortable. After the kickoff, your team’s representatives should phone ahead to let the team know the genre and required elements. The team should spend the evening kicking around ideas until everyone is happy with the rough shape of the film. The script should be written that night, ready for the start of shooting the following morning.
Saturday: Aim to start early, especially if travel is required. The script should have been emailed to the team during the night, so everyone should have seen a copy and know roughly what they need to bring in terms of costumes. With any luck, you can start shooting as soon as it is light. Aim to shoot the outdoor scenes first, you never know how much fine weather you are going to get. Make sure everyone is fed, people will be working hard.
With any luck, most of the shooting will be done by Saturday afternoon. If you are organised, it may be possible for your editor to start assembling finished scenes while the rest of the crew completes shooting but I have never been in a team that has managed this yet.
The editor can now get to work making a rough cut of the film. This should tell the complete story and give an idea of how the pacing works, but does not need music, titles, or much polish. It is here that the editor might discover that he or she does not have a shot required to tell the story, or that the sound is bad in one shot, etc.
Sunday: Assemble the crew you need for any reshoots and get them out of the way. You might have some ideas for different shots after seeing the rough cut, now is the time to try them out. Your musicians should be finishing up about this time. The final edit might take a couple of hours, depending on the complexity of your film. Adding in music tracks, and the title and credit sequences always take longer than you think. You really want to be finishing up about mid-afternoon. Remember that rendering your film can take hours if you have a slow computer. Don’t be like the people I see every year standing at the finishing line holding laptops still waiting for the render to finish as the clock strikes 7pm.
Now you get to bask in the knowledge that you have completed a film. Enjoy the heats, they are a lot of fun to watch.