A record number of teams, 53 as of Friday afternoon, are out frantically making movies in and around Baltimore this weekend, part of the annual exercise in creative cinematic anarchy otherwise known as the 48-Hour Film Project.
"There will be at least 500 people out on the streets," said Rob Hatch, project organizer for Baltimore. "If they're aiming something at you, it's just a camera."
Under the competition's rules, teams of filmmakers have exactly 48 hours to make a film between four and seven minutes long. Teams are assigned a genre, a prop, a character and a line of dialogue that must be worked into their film. All work - writing, filming, editing, scoring, whatever - must be done within the time period.
"You're running all over the place, shooting everything that you possibly can, and everybody's doing a hundred things at once," said Baltimore filmmaker Nick Prevas. "But everybody's working toward the same goal. It's really a rush."
Teams, averaging 10 members each, began making their movies Friday night. The finished films will be shown June 23-24 at the Charles Theatre, with the winning film chosen and announced at that time. Baltimore is one of 80 cities participating in the project; the worldwide winner will be shown at next year's Cannes Film Festival.
"It really hones your skills as a filmmaker," Prevas said, "having to completely create, from start to finish, a project. You really have to think about every aspect of the final product while you're shooting."