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Ready, set, action

Between scheduling, writing, shooting, post-production and any necessary reshoots, making a film is a serious undertaking.

Now add a 24-hour time limit to get it all done — from the first words on the page to final render, your deadline is instantly a day away ... 23:59, 23:58 ...

Challenge accepted, said a local group of filmmakers. This posse of sprinting Spielbergs — aptly named Southern Oregon Film Racers — will participate in the international 24-Hour Film Race competition. Based out of Atlanta, it challenges filmmakers to make a movie in one Earth rotation with a surprise theme that’s provided right when the clock starts, according to the competition website, filmracing.com/24hour.

“It’s, I guess, stressful in some ways, but you enjoy that pressure and stress,” says Medford filmmaker Ray Robison, who will direct.

It’s the fifth year a Southern Oregon team has competed. Robison always has helmed the director’s chair, and Ross Williams of Talent has previously cut the footage together. The Southern Oregon team’s 2017 entry, “After,” was screened as one of 24 finalists at the Strand Theatre in Marietta, Georgia.

The countdown for the 2019 competition begins at 7 p.m. Friday, June 28, when competition officials will email all competing teams the theme, along with an action and prop that must be included in the film. The finished movie has to be submitted no later than 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29.

“It is a fun exercise,” Robison says. “It’s enjoyable to see what you come up with.”

Local actors Dan Hanvey, Hannah Pearcey, Chance Larsen, Eric Singer and Laura Murphy will make up the cast for this year’s installment. Robison says the plan is to film through the night to give a bit more time for post-production and editing.

“In the past we would try to get it written the night before, sleep a few hours and start early in the morning, which would give the editor less time,” he says. “But we’re trying this formula out. It works well in some ways. In other ways, it’s obviously tough on the crew because of the hours they need to keep in order to accomplish that.”

It’s a daunting task, but also exciting, says 21-year-old Marisa Pala, a recent Southern Oregon University digital cinema major who will help with lighting and serve as a second assistant director.

“I love the idea of 24-hour projects,” she says. “I feel like it’s really just forcing you to put out your best work in a small amount of time. I feel like it’s going to be a good bonding opportunity.”

Robison, who has directed feature films such as “Vampire Camp,” says there’s much to be learned as a filmmaker from participating in such a competition year after year.

“I think it teaches you a lot of efficiency, things that don’t really need to be done or done to a certain level or complication,” Robison says. “I think it’s being able to strip away everything else and then look at just really the basics, so that you can get so much done in such little time.”

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4468.

Submitted photoRay Robison, center, directs a scene in the 2018 short film “Wrath.” Robison and others had 24 hours to write, shoot and edit the film for the 24-Hour Film Race. Robison and a local team will enter again this year.