How to host a 48-hour film challenge in the middle of a pandemic

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Creating a short film in 48 hours can be a challenge in itself, but adding on lockdown restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic almost makes it a new challenge entirely.

Kyaw Tha Hla and Jeff Clinkenbeard, founders of SATO48 (Springfield’s annual 48-hour film challenge), talked to Ozarks First about holding this competition in April of 2020.

“We had the goodwill of the filmmaking community. They were eager to make great films, even under those circumstances,” said Clinkenbeard. “They told great stories, just told them on a smaller scale; one location, fewer cast.”

As for hosting the event last year, Clinkenbeard also emphasized “Safety first, second and third. You gotta have that so you can come back for 2021.”

Tha Hla mentioned, “I think the filmmaking in Springfield is growing and it’s gonna grow especially in the Midwest as well…because of the technology we have now almost everyone can make a film if they have a story to tell.”

Despite pandemic restrictions, both Tha Hla and Clinkenbeard noted seeing new creative solutions arise in 2020: “In one instance, the solution was so clever, we thought it might be stock footage. which they’re not allowed to use. So we called the filmmaker and said ‘you know, could you just explain to us how you achieved this shot’ and they said ‘Oh sure, it’s not stock footage, I accessed the external camera of the international space station, took a series of still shots and strung them together to make it appear as if the space ship is rotating around the earth.”

As 2021 registration opens up for SATO48, Clinkenbeard said “We are always eager to do what we can to get filmmakers’ voices out there.”

Registration can be found on the SATO48 website, here.

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