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Students compete in 48-hour film festival

March 7, 2014

The fifth annual UW-River Falls 48-Hour Film Competition will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 7.

Students are tasked with the duty of writing, shooting and editing a short film in two days based off of a random genre, character and prop. Associate Digital Film and Television professor Erik Johnson said the opportunity to participate in a competition like this is something that cannot be missed.

“This is really a way for students to get together with other students of similar career interests and bounce ideas off of each other, just like you would in the real world,” Johnson said.

Last year the contest received over a dozen submissions. The winners are broken up into four categories, including Best Actor, Best Director, Best Technical and People’s Choice award, which is based in part off of feedback from classmates.

Johnson said while the prizes are anonymous at this point, the two main sponsors of the event, Nikon and RED Camera, have supplied some pretty unique and exciting awards for the winners.

“Our sponsors have done a great job in the past of giving our winners some great prizes, and this year is to be no different. We’re very lucky to partner with such great companies that support what we do here,” Johnson said.

Paul Langfellow, a actor in last year’s film, “Codename: The Farmer,” said that this contest is unlike any other.

“You have to set up every scene really quickly, or else you’re going to run out of time, because you only have two days to do it, which really forces you to make quick decisions that you hope pay off,” Langfellow said. Johnson added that this gives students an opportunity to gain some real life critiques and praise for their work.

“The contest gives you a chance to see your work on the big screen and share the experience with friends and family and have other people react to your work, which is a vital part of the business,” Johnson said.

The final category, the People’s Choice award, really emphasizes this point. Johnson said that this was put in to make the contest a more campus-wide event and to ascertain the opinion of as many students as possible.

“The winner of the People’s Choice award, especially, should feel good, you really won over the most people on campus with your film,” Johnson said. “That is nothing to look past.”

In order for students to participate in the People’s Choice award voting process, they must have access to OrgSync. Johnson clarified that this does mean professors will be able to vote as well.

UWRF graduate Jon Lyksett, who directed the film that Langfellow acted in last year, added that this contest helps you gain necessary tools for a future that involves video.

“It really forces you to be creative in a short amount of time, which is really how it works in the world of journalism or video making. You have a set amount of time to get things done, and if you don’t get it done in time, then you don’t have a product to turn in and hang your hat on,” Lyksett said.

The contest, which coincides with the UWRF Falcon Film Fest, requires students who wish to participate attend a mandatory informational meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. on March 7, in the Kinnickinnic River Theater in the University Center.

The winners of the categories will be announced on April 18 during a special screening in the Kinnickinnic River Theater.

To view submissions from last year’s event or to learn more about how to be a part of this year’s contest, visit the University’s website.