Anyone who has taken a class within the digital media and journalism (DMJ) department has heard of Film 48. For those who haven’t been treated to experience with the fast-paced festival, here’s the general rundown; teams of students (some in the DMJ department, though not all) get together to write, shoot and edit a short-film in only 48 hours. Each team is randomly assigned a genre that their film must fall under. If it sounds daunting, that’s because it is.
Film 48 is held twice a year, and this semester’s competition took place this past weekend. With 17 teams participating, 17 outstanding student-films were screened on Tuesday night. If you missed out on the festivities, don’t fear, as I’m here to recap all that came from those frantic 48 hours.
One of the staples of Film 48 is the phrase, prop and name that must be included in each entry. Each team must find a way to seamlessly slip each into their script, which is easier said than done.
This semester, the phrase was “this is the thanks I get for working overtime,” which each team managed to slip. In most cases, it was uttered by a character either just getting off work or currently at work. My personal favorite was in “Home,” an entry in the disaster genre where one of the leads stated that the last text she received from her mother before the catastrophic event that wiped out most of the population was a GIF from a Spongebob episode of Patrick saying, “this is the thanks I get for working overtime.”
The prop, Oreo cookies, seemed to be easier to sneak in, while the name, Dr. Mittens, was definitely a fun one; it was given to characters ranging from a sock puppet to a cat.
At the end of the night, several awards are voted on by the audience and given out to films in six different categories, as well as one grand prize. While the grand prize has yet to be announced, the audience-voted results have been released.
Best Acting: “Whipped Override” by Bargain Night Tuesday
In this story about two men possessed (hijacked? The logistics were unclear) by extraterrestrials, it’s no surprise that the two leads were able to secure this award for their film. Technical aspects aside, the short was wildly entertaining and carried by its two protagonists.
Best Story: “Hopeless for the Holidays” by Team Larry
Given the “holiday” genre, one would expect a heartwarming moment in “Hopeless for the Holidays,” but no one was expecting a kiss between the two male leads, both of whom began the film with girlfriends, to be the carrier of that heartwarming moment. Add the final scene, where years later the two are baking cookies at home with their children, and “Hopeless for the Holidays” was a lock for “Best Story.”
Best Editing: “Jackpot” by Ash on the Camera
This team took “avant garde” and ran with it. I would love to pretend I had any idea what was going on, but I can’t— I loved it though. Every shot had some sort of visual effect, so it was only natural for Editing to go to them. Though I’d like to believe that everyone who voted for this film did so due to the genius mixing of Gretchen Weiners’ infamous Brutus/Caesar monologue over an interpretive dance scene.
Best Cinematography: “Whipped Override” by Bargain Night Tuesday
The second win for “Whipped Override” is another well-deserved one. Each shot of this short seemed meticulously planned out, even general landscape or scenery shots.
Best Laugh: “P.I.” by Birthday Blues
Following a paranormal investigator in pursuit of the supernatural, it’s no surprise that this mostly improvised entry won “Best Laugh,” as it certainly did receive the most laughs.
Audience Favorite: “Hopeless for the Holidays” by Team Larry
As mentioned before, it’s no shock that “Hopeless for the Holidays” took home audience favorite. Not only was it funny, well-shot and entertaining, but as I said before, that twist ending left everyone shocked in the best way possible.