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Students create films over two-day period

Most movies take months or years to make, but last weekend students participated in a 48 hour film festival.

Participants had from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon to make short films that incorporated various elements pulled from a hat.

“The challenge is that you pull out some certain criteria and you have to write, shoot and edit your movie in 48 hours,” said Desiree Holton, president of BGReel.

BGReel and University Film Organization [UFO] are two technically separate organizations that hold joint meetings and collaborate for events including 48 hour film festivals.

This time, participants’ films had to deal with a particular theme drawn at random and include a line, prop and “challenge” also drawn at random.

Challenges range in difficulty, said Nick Weiss, president of UFO. His group’s challenge was to have no diegetic sound – in other words, no sound that occurred within the world of the film. All sound had to be voiceovers or music added to the film.

The length of the films is dependent upon how many groups participate, since all the films are screened on one night. The limit this time was six minutes, and 17 groups participated. Of those, 14 turned in movies by the deadline.

Films are judged on how well they incorporate the elements they have drawn.

“It’s not just like, ‘Is it in your movie?’ but it’s how well you incorporate it into the story in the world of the film that you’re creating,” Holton said. “So one that might be challenging would be a corndog, which happened to one of the teams this time, although they just happened to pull ‘hunger’ as well [for the theme].”

That was Weiss’ team. The corndog was a “throwaway joke” at the beginning, he said, but theme of hunger remained, as a character had a hunger to win a competitive eating competition.

Films are also judged on creativity, entertainment value, acting, cinematography, editing and sound.

This competition’s judges were Sara Chambers, a lecturer in theatre and film, and Thomas Castillo, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Film. The competition is always judged by faculty, often from theatre and film, but also from telecommunications.

Though there is an aspect of competition, and most participants are film students, the 48 hour film festivals are also about

having fun.

“There’s so much that is great about the 48s,” Holton said. “It’s about basically reclaiming a weekend to yourself with your friends and making art.”

Films from previous festivals can be viewed at http://universityfilmorg.weebly.com. The archive dates back to September 2011.

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