Fanshawe students test their skills in 48-hour film challenge

Eighty students from four different Fanshawe programs gather for the 48-hour film challenge.

Fanshawe students from various programs came together to participate in a 48-hour film challenge to kick off the winter semester. Eighty students from advanced filmmaking, acting for screen and stage, visual effects and editing, and audio post-production worked together to produce a short film that was written, edited, and finished all within a 48-hour time frame.

“48-hour film challenges or film festivals happen all over the world,” said Romy Goulem, advanced filmmaking professor and coordinator of acting for screen and stage. “We’ve been doing it at Fanshawe for 14 years. For our version of it, we give them three criteria that each group has to have in their film.”

Each group gets the exact same criteria, which is up to interpretation with how they incorporate it into their film. This includes a line of dialogue, a tagline, and a prop. This year’s criteria was a small wrapped gift box as a prop, “they have a plan, but not a clue” for a tagline, and the dialogue that had to be included was “intuitions are not to be ignored.” The only other rule was to stay within a five-minute time limit.

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“The theme kind of lent itself to be a spy thing or a heist thing,” said the Interrobang videographer, Brandon Grubb. Grubb is an advanced filmmaking student. “But what we ended up doing was sitcom style. Old style sitcom delivery lines with ‘50s style characters being super happy and going through this nasty argument and breakup and then at the end the one guy just gets murdered.”

Grubb’s group broke the fourth wall through their film, having one character look directly into the camera.

“We pulled out and we showed everything behind the scenes,” said Grubb. “We made it kind of unnerving. But it really was up to what you wanted to make within those few parameters.”

In his group, Grubb took a leadership role, having training in all the areas of production. His job was to keep everything grounded, trying to keep the ideas possible within the timeframe given.

“It taught me a lot about how to be more of a leader and how to collaborate with other people that have different ways of working and just hearing them out. Then, seeing what could work and how I could help improve that.”

The overall goal of this 48-hour challenge is to jump head first into a new semester and get all the students acquainted with one another so they have those connections through the semester. Even though the final result isn’t what matters in the long run, all of the films impressed faculty at Fanshawe.

“I’m always excited to see the films to see what they do in such a short time and I’m never disappointed,” said Goulem. “Someone from the office came and she just couldn’t get over how good and entertaining the films were. She couldn’t imagine that these were really made in 48 hours by people who just met.”

Goulem added that although the 48-hour films can’t compare to the year-end festival featuring films that took an entire semester to complete, there is always a 48-hour film included in the lineup because they turn out that well.

For students that are going to take on this challenge next year, Grubb has some advice.

“Take it easy,” said Grubb. “It’s a long process that actually goes really fast. If you’re able to make a masterpiece, go for it. But don’t try to make a masterpiece because it’s not necessarily about the end product. It’s about networking, building connections, and trying to develop your communication skills with other people.”

He added that this is great practice for the future when you will be working with various people coming from varying backgrounds, with different ideas.

“Go in with a very open mind and just have fun with everyone else. At the end of the day, if you’re not having a great time, then the whole experience isn’t worth it. So much of the time is just collaborating and having fun and if you make it a miserable time, it’s going to reflect in the end product.”