The 48 Hour Movie Experience

In this Seattle acting class, students will do a bunch of fun acting exercises and learn how 48 hour films are made.

Then after the class, everyone who would like to can join us in making in a short movie – then kick back and watch our film along with some other shorts in a crowded Seattle theater!

In this course we’ll do some fun acting exercises, and learn how 48 hour movies and other time-restricted filmmaking competitions work. We’ll also do some brainstorming exercises, learning how to think up plots for 48 hour movies and turn them into scripts.

In the second meeting, everyone who was in the class is welcome to join us in spending an entire Saturday filming the movie. Every student who wants to be in the finished movie will have a role in it. 

This class is open to everyone 17 and older, or by instructor’s permission. It’s currently offered just once a year, timed to coincide with a local film festival. (We may add additional sections at some point in other cities.) It can be taken by itself just for fun, or applied toward our Acting Fundamentals Certificate. Instructor: Nils Osmar

Sign up now:

  • The 48 Hour Movie Experience – July
    The 48 Hour Movie Experience – July
    • First meeting:  Sat. July 8, 10 am-2:30 pm
    • First meeting location: The first meeting is in the University District in Seattle. The exact address will be sent by email when you enroll.
    • Filming day: Saturday July 15, 9 am-6 pm. The location for filming day is not yet set.
    • Instructor – Nils Osmar


  • What will we be doing in the class? We’ll do exercises to fine-tune and hone our acting skills and get the group working together as a team. 
  • What will our genre be? There’s no way to know our genre, or what the movie will be about, till we receive our assignment on Friday night. We could be assigned any genre. (This is to keep scripts from being written in advance.) In previous fests, we’ve filmed action movies; romances; road trip movies; zombie movies; thrillers; science fiction movies; black comedies; and fantasies.
  • What theater will the movie play in? They usually play in either the SIFF Uptown Theater or the Egyptian Theater.
  • Will we write the script in the class? No, that would be a violation of the rules. The script has to be written during the filming weekend. But you’re welcome to join in the brainstorming on Friday night (the night before filming). The instructor will then write the movie.
  • Will we all edit the movie together? Most 48 hour films end up being edited in the middle of the night! So editing it together is not possible. But you’re welcome to come by on the Sunday after our film day to see how the edit is coming along, and give your input on the audio edit.
  • Do I have to take a class like this, in order to participate in 48 hour film projects? No, this is just one fun way to do it. The “48” is open to anyone who pays the entry fee, sets up a team, and can write and film and edit a movie and get it turned in by the deadline. 
  • What’s the difference between this class and Let’s Make a Movie? It’s mostly a question of time. In Let’s Make a Movie, we have several weeks to make a movie, including three full days of filming. (This gives more time to come up with costumes, learn lines, and think about your character). The finished films made in Let’s Make a Movie can be up to 15 minutes long, and do not play in a Seattle theater. Movies made in 48 hour film fests are part of a city-wide event, are shorter, and end with a screening in a crowded Seattle theater.
  • Can I use the edited footage from the films made in this class, or the Let’s Make a Movie class for my actor reel? Sure. Many students have.
  • What’s it like? Making a 48 hour experience movie is a wild experience and a great challenge for the actors. It’s like nothing else in the world. And when it’s done, the movie screens in a theater in front of hundreds of people and can go on to win audience awards, actor awards and other prizes, at an awards ceremony after all of the movies are screened. It’s a great way to connect with the larger acting and filmmaking community in Seattle. It’s total fun.

Movies from our previous 48 hour films:

Student Reviews

Nils is a generous, patient and knowledgeable teacher

Rated 5 out of 5

I was delighted with the filmmaking and lighting classes I took. Nils is a generous, patient and knowledgeable teacher. The classes I attended gave a solid introduction to the filmmaking process and Nils did a good job of covering the essentials. I intend to take more classes myself and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to aspiring indy or hobbyist filmmakers, or anyone interested in how movies are made. Regardless of your eventual cinematic ambitions, these classes are a great (and affordable) way to get started and find out if filmmaking is for you.

Patrick Meehan

I am now a full time actor in L.A.

Rated 5 out of 5

Hello Nils, I played Weasel and The Executioner in your movie Liberation… I also took the Let’s Make a Movie class with you few years ago. I hope you are doing great and finding time to make movies.I just wanted to thank you for having me in your movies and teaching me! I am now a full time actor in LA. Thank you and have a great 2017 full of creative films! Thank you and have a great 2017 full of creative films! My website is

Deja Soufka

I just met a very awesome goal

Rated 5 out of 5

I wanted to say thank you for your help and guidance in the early stages of my acting career. It has been a great journey that started in your beginning acting class. I am happy to report that I just met a very awesome goal. I will be a day actor in the TV series Grimm this week. It was your coaching that set and codified the foundation that helped get me where I am today. Thank you so much for your help.

Joey Coverson

I now have had two acting gigs

Rated 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank you.   After taking your classes last year, I now have had two acting gigs.   One in a movie called Sideways Japan… it was a Fox production…  and I was in a commercial in Hollywood, that was a Time Warner production.  

The reel we made (in the Let’s Make a Movie class) was very useful helping me perform in front of camera and the fact (that I was) comfortable in front of camera got me the gigs.Tell  everyone to not give up and give it your all if you want to make it.   It was a slow start, but now I’m living in L.A. and loving it. Thanks again, your classes are good.

K. S.  (Hollywood)

Thank you for inspiring me to follow my dreams

Rated 5 out of 5

Hi Nils,  I want to thank you for inspiring me to follow me dreams. I left Washington. I am down in California.   I have started a television production company and I auditioned for a Harley Davidson Commercial yesterday as an actor. (Update: I got the role.) Everything is moving at light speed…and in a positive direction. It all started with you in that classroom at the U of W.

Robert C.,   Hollywood

Lots of practice and ‘hands-on’ experience

Rated 5 out of 5

I was first attracted to these courses because of the content, location, price, and the many positive comments I had read about Nils Omar’s teaching.

Being a music instructor both privately and at the college level for over 30 years I can confidently say that Nils teaching is first rate! He is patient, well-organized, and thorough in his coverage of the course material. I had read a lot of books on acting prior to enrolling in this course (Larry Moss, Sandy Meisner, Constantin Stanislavski, Stella Adler, etc.) and was amazed by how Nils managed to cover most of the important concepts and techniques found in these books.

More importantly, he gave the students lots of practice and ‘hands-on’ experience. The students in the classes were made up of beginners like myself but also had a few students that had some more advanced training. There were a wide variety of ages ranging from around 21 – 59 years of age.

All of the students were serious about the class and were very encouraging to each other during the exercises and scene excerpts. This made the whole experience very enjoyable with little or no stress! In short, this class was the most fun I’ve had in years! So far, I have taken Acting 101, 102, 103, and plan on taken more classes with Nils. I highly recommend these classes to anyone interested in getting into acting, meeting others who have a true passion for acting, and want to have a lot of fun in the process!

Steve Saulls

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