When was the last time you stayed up all night? Not just one night but two nights in a row?!

Parents of infants and college students notwithstanding, you probably can’t remember the last time you had good reason to stay up with the stars and watch the sun rise.

A good reason, though, is all it takes. And 10 Arlingtonians have found just that.

“This is a very collaborative project, everyone has a role to play, and it proves that with creativity, teamwork, and lots of caffeine, it’s possible to make movie in 48 hours!” So says Jonathan Barbato, production manager at Arlington’s community TV station, Arlington Community Media, Inc. (ACMi)

Barbato has assembled a team of 10 ACMi members to participate in the 12th annual 48 Hour Film Project, a wild and sleepless weekend in which each participating team writes, shoots, edits, and scores a film. “On Friday night,” says Barbato, “we’ll be given a character, a prop, a line of dialogue, and a genre, all of which have to be included in our production. We then have two days to produce our film, deliver it to the drop off spot in Boston, and then we get to see all the films at the Kendall Square Cinema the following week.”

ACMi’s team includes people of all ages with a variety of different interests and skills related to film and TV production. Some are interested in acting and being on camera while others are more suited to being camera operators, editors, or writers. “I’ve done this twice before,” says Barbato, “and it is so much fun. There’s something for everyone to do and by the end of the 48 hours we’ve bonded as a group and have produced something really interesting and artistic.”

In order to prepare for the two day event, which begins May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. and runs until May 4th, the ACMi team will be conducting several 2 hour training sessions during the month of April in order to hone their cinematic skills. The workshops will focus on scripting and storytelling, shooting and lighting, and editing. Once given their line, prop, genre, and character, there are no limits to what teams may produce. “The creativity that results,” says Barbato, “is impressive. It’s so fun to go to the screening to see what others did with the exact same timeframe.”

The 48 Hour Film Project is not just a local or even national event. It takes place in cities all over the world. In 2012, over 50,000 filmmakers made almost 4,000 films on 6 continents. Since its debut in 2003, more than 278,000 people have participated in producing 19,000 films.

“One of the best parts of the 48 Hour Film Project,” says Barbato, “is that it brings together creative, motivated people who love movie making. This is a one of a kind project that will inspire and challenge us and ultimately allow us to experience film making in a whole new way.”

As the ACMi team prepares for the 48 Hour Film Project, who knows what they’ll come up with. A thriller? A drama? A romance? A comedy? With the help of their fellow teammates and a bottomless pot of full strength coffee, there’s no doubt the creativity will endlessly spill forth.

Learn more about the 48 Hour Film Project