It involves two days of blood, sweat and tears for participants but is a reel delight for film audiences.
Now the Edinburgh 48-Hour Film Project has proven so successful it has travelled west for the first time to show Glasgow how it is done.
Despite being on foreign soil, the talent of budding Capital film makers still shone through with Edinburgh team The Thief of Brisco scooping three prizes in the challenge.
Team leader Craig Henderson, 36, a Citizens Advice advisor from Balerno, said: “Forget swimming under Arctic ice in your Speedos for three weeks, try to make a film in 48 hours. It should be billed as one of these endurance challenges tough folk put themselves through.
“The project is one of the most insanely, intensely fun ways to spend a weekend.”
Craig and his team wrote the script for their film, Norman, between 10pm and 4am in the competition that took place at the weekend. They were one of ten competing teams from Edinburgh.
He said: “Two and a half hours’ sleep later we were up preparing. The shoot took place in an office between 10am and 10pm, while Rob Baker, our editor, simultaneously cobbled together footage as memory cards were passed to him.”
With a strict brief and critical judges, including Still Game director Michael Hines, it was no easy challenge.
Teams faced a gruelling, sleepless weekend to write, shoot, edit and score a movie in just 48 hours for a chance to have it screened in America.
Entrants had to include a cleaner called Norman, or Norma McKenzie, a ring, and the line “Do I know you?” in their finished films.
The Thief of Brisco team scooped awards for best use of a prop, best choreography, and best score.
Judges watched the completed films on Monday, ploughing through entries from teams as far afield as Wales, Newcastle and Manchester.
The Edinburgh 48-Hour Film Project is run by Sam Goldblatt, 28, from the West End, and his fiancee Louise Knowles.
Sam said: “We’ve grown a lot and that’s why we decided to expand this year to Glasgow.
“Thanks to the hospitality of the Cameo cinema, where the films have been screened since the project began, it has gone from strength to strength.
“This May will be our fifth anniversary and we’re hoping to do a special event.”
Sadly for the Edinburgh entrants at the weekend, it was the Lifeup! team from Ayrshire who were overall winners.
They now get to show their film The Jigsaw at Filmapalooza, the International 48-Hour Film Project finals, at the Tao Shortz Film Fest in New Mexico.
The competition returns to Edinburgh in May.