Students were given 72-hours to make a film that included a toothbrush, someone cooking and the line “sometimes things don’t go as planned” all to be shot on a cellphone.
The result was 18 completely different 4-minute movies that were screened for the 72-Hour Cellphone Film Contest on Thursday night, in the Krinovitz auditorium.
Joe Lewis, English literature senior and president of the film club, hosted the event and decided on the criteria for the films. The three prompts seem random, because they are, and are used as proof that the films are made within 72 hours.
“People who have never made a film before just come together and throw something together,” Lewis said.
This is the third year of the contest. In the past, it was hosted by the Lake Champlain International Film Festival, where Lewis has interned. With the absence of the festival this year, the film club has taken on the contest. All of the advertising was done within the school and brought together 17 teams, with one team from the outside community.
“It’s better, in a way, because it’s through the club,” Lewis said.
The contest was sponsored by the film club, English department and the film minor. Dr. Michael Devine, coordinator of the film minor, was actually featured in a film discussing the importance of short films saying, “Every image is like a grenade” and “it’s about the things we don’t see.”
Lewis comments on the quality of the videos because of the time crunch and cell phone rule. All shoots must be done on a cellphone. In some cases, Lewis said this requires creativity, where in others, a cell phone is the perfect tool because of its compactness and camera capability.
The films ranged from comedies, horror, to dark and meaningful. Despite the required cominalites, each group produced something different than the others.
Once the film is shot on a cellphone, participants upload the footage to edit it on a computer. But the whole process — writing, filming and editing — must be done in 72-hours. The prompts were sent out Sunday at 5 p.m., and the films were due back to Lewis Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Krinovitz auditorium was packed with the participants, and other viewers to enjoy the films. By the end of the night, a first place and two runner ups were given $100 and $50 Amazon gift cards respectively. The winner will also have their film shown at the Lake Placid Film Festival.
Each filmed was judged by a panel on its Incorporation of prompts, storyline, visuals, sound, editing, creativity and overall quality.
The winning film was titled “Unicorn Breath” made by Brendan Kossmann, TV and video production sophomore, and Frank Filippazzo, digital media production junior, who split the $100 in gift cards. Their film featured a unicorn guarding the key to fresh breath. Filippazzo’s character tried to chase him down, but ended up outwitting it by setting a trap with Jolly Ranchers. In the end, the secret turned out to be a toothbrush, but it was too late for Filippazzo because the unicorn already got the girl.
Both team members said that this fun idea was a mesh of both their visions.
“Anyone who wants to go into film should do this,” Kossmann said. “It pushes you to have a creative idea with your prompts.”
The runners up receive $50 in gift cards each. One film was a cheeky comedy-turn-horror movie about a haunted apartment. The other runner up titled “George” reflected on one’s self criticism using special effects.
Lewis hopes that this event brings more interest to the film programs at PSUC, particularly the film club which meets Wednesday nights at 7 in Yokum 203.
Lewis was very happy with the turnout, commenting during the event, “I’m excited to see it grow in the future.”