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Inside the 24-Hour Film Festival

By Lucas Phillips '16

April 18, 2013

When the clock struck midnight on April 12th, I was a member of one of seven groups released from KJ 101 with the tasked with the challenge of creating a short film in 24 hours—in my case, a silent film.  Without any particular idea in mind, I walked around the South side of campus until 2 a.m., shooting what looked creepy and interesting. The arts buildings turn out to be pretty eerie at night and, reflecting on it, so is Schambach/List basement any time of day.  I thought it seemed a natural setting for a horror film. My co-creator, Michael Dyer ’16—who worked with me on my last 24-hour film in the fall—and I had talked over the idea of using captions to advance a separate dialogue than appeared on the screen.  Combining these, we went for the possibly novel genre of horror-comedy.

Dyer and I wrote (mostly on-the-spot), acted-in, edited and created the soundtrack for the film. 24 hours to create six minutes of film ratio sounds easy enough, but you should probably ask the three groups that dropped out how long it can take.  The main problem is that there is no good weekend to spend your Saturday making a movie.  For the second semester in a row, I was behind on my work and had spent very little free time doing anything but filmmaking.  I suppose it begs the question: why?

I had not been a prolific filmmaker in high school—nor do call myself one now—having made little more than a few low-tech cooking videos for French class.  When I toured Hamilton as a senior, someone made mention of the festival, and it sounded cool, like something I should participate in if I went to Hamilton.  So when I ended up here, I naturally signed up for the fall semester’s festival.

But more importantly, the festival is about being a little bit silly and taking a break from our busy and repetitive routines to do something creative, if a bit absurd.

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