For the uninitiated, the 48 Hour Film Festival is a sprint filmmaking competition which began in Washington DC in 2001 and has since spread around the USA and worldwide. It came to Glasgow, Scotland in 2011 and ‘Broadfoot’s Magical Adventure’ is the submission from the filmmaking team of Mark Ferguson, Andy McEwan, and Chris Quick. The Festival challenges groups to write, produce, and edit a short film over a weekend. The participants are assigned a genre as well as character name, prop, and required line of dialogue to ensure the film is made within the given time. In the case of ‘Broadfoot’, the character may have been, but highly dubiously could have been Ian, The imaginary Nazi.
Ian is a middle aged Nazi in full SS regalia who appears as the imaginary friend to the titular Scottish teenager. Ian convinces Broadfoot to commit increasingly destructive acts which he hides behind childish nicknames such as “play race cars” (grand theft auto), and “treasure hunt” (home invasion). It seems as if there were many more humorous avenues for this film to traverse. I couldn’t help but imagine a Nazi officer being controlled by his invisible friend, a hyperactive Scottish teenager.
Clocking in at just over 5 minutes, “Broadfoot” is a one joke short film but both actors are game and the short shows glimpses of heavyweights like Monty Python and Spaced. Technically, is not exactly a marvel. Like most 48 hour films, the audio and cinematography are merely serviceable. The majority of attention is paid to clever writing and concept.
The 48 Hour Film Festival is a great chance for filmmakers to stay sharp, test chemistry with new crew members, and experiment. It’s not always ideal for making standalone films. It works best when it the films are weird and playful.