“Why are you doing this?” you ask. Well, here’s why:

Kate O’Toole: “Why isn’t it called The 72 Hour project instead of just the 72 project?”

Kate always asks the questions that everyone else is thinking but they never ask.  This site is primarily focused upon a series of weird and wonderful projects called the ’72 Hour Film’ (which became ‘Watching & Waiting’) and later the ’72 Hour Movie’ (which became ‘The Ballad of Des & Mo’). These projects became affectionately shortened in conversation to simply ‘the 72’. Hence the 72 project! Besides, we’ve all spent a hell of a lot more time on them now than the 72 Hour title suggests. It should be the 72 month project.

The projects involve a team of filmmakers shooting and editing a feature length film in 72 consecutive hours and then screening it at the end to a festival audience. What many people call the ‘pre-production’ is done beforehand, but the ‘production’ and the ‘post-production’ are squeezed into those three days. The first film, ‘Watching & Waiting’, was shot in Galway, Ireland, as part of the 20th Film Fleadh in July 2008. The second film, ‘The Ballad of Des & Mo’, was shot in Melbourne, Australia, as part of the 59th International Film Festival in 2010. The project featured in a documentary called ‘I’ve Got This Idea For A Film‘ which premiered at the 19th Raindance Independent Film Festival in London, 2011. A third project was planned to be made as part of the City of Culture celebrations in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 2013. However, a variety of non-filmmaking related issues put an end to that idea. The planning isn’t going to waste as a third film is finally being planned for Birmingham in summer 2014.

The 72 project has been a long and spectacular journey with many highs and lows. This site aims to catalogue as much information about the project as possible, as an inspiring resource to filmmakers and fans alike. We hope it has an educational value as well as an entertainment one.

The logo for the 72 is a creative commons licensed image and symbolises how no-one person or company can own the concept of shooting, editing and screening a movie in three days as part of a festival.