News

Film festival packs Annex

By Julia Grace Brimelow '14

December 6, 2012

A full Annex on a Saturday night brings a certain scene to mind. But last weekend more than 140 students crammed into the Tolles Pavilion for something other than an all-campus party. The 24 Hour Film Festival, sponsored by the Film Production Guild, screened four completed entries following an all-day movie production spree, leaving space for standing room only.

Fighting obstacles such as lack of light, mounting homework, a dearth of actors and a strict timeline, five teams competed from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday, tasked with writing, filming, editing and screening their videos in 24 hours.

The event began Friday night in KJ at 11:30 p.m. when entrants gathered to discuss rules and other terms of the festival. Event organizer Taylor Coe ’13 oversaw the process of genre selection for each film and further explained the requirements of each film entry. This year, Coe stipulated that each film would have to include four out of 6 scene suggestions, which ranged from a panoramic shot or a bathroom scene to a scene with a live animal. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was lights, camera, action!

The creative process was different for each team. Some came into the festival with a general idea of the movie they wanted to create and began filming that night. Others started entirely from scratch, devoting Friday to script writing and Saturday to filming and editing.

Lucas Phillips’16 even incorporated his schoolwork into his 24 Hour Film Festival experience.  “My process consisted of doing homework and creating a movie in between periods of studying. While the concept of using all 24 hours is a fun one, I had a crazy week coming up, so I went to sleep Friday night,” he said.

At such a busy time of year, Phillips’ experience is not surprising. His choice to balance his commitment to work and the creative process, however, is impressive. Others, it seems, were unable to do the same, as this year’s festival saw smaller numbers of entries than in years past. 

Despite this smaller number of entries, the enthusiasm for the event was palpable across campus. “Although the number of entries was a bit disappointing, attendance at the screening was fantastic,” Coe said. “There is not much I can do about participation, but there is definitely a place for the festival at Hamilton.”

Nico Keller Sarmiento’13 said he signed up for the festival because he wanted to be a part of the Hamilton tradition. “Ihad always wanted to do [the festival], but I never got around to it. This is my senior year, so I decided to clear my schedule and do it. And I am really glad I did,” he said.

Keller-Sarmiento’s reality show movie “The Real Housewives of the Hill,” staring Michael Steven Breslin ’13, Sarah ‘Dewi’ Caswell ’14, Jenna Michelle Langbaum ’15 and Ashley Jean Vanicek ’13, went on to win first prize on Saturday night. The video was put on YouTube and has circulated on Facebook. There are even talks of posting it to the popular blog “In the ‘Cac” and filming a full-length episode.

Second prize was awarded in a tie between two films, “The Spirit of Kirkland” and “Starship Continental.”
For those who missed Saturday’s screening, all the films will be streamed on the newly launched Hamilton College Television station on channel 60.

“HCTV is proud to host the content from the 24 hour movie competition as well as all student content,” said HCTV President Nile Berry ’14.

For Coe, this semester’s successful event is just the beginning. He hopes to host a second 24 Hour Film Festival in the spring semester with more entries and an even bigger audience come the Saturday night viewing.

“These videos are time capsules. It’s really funny, actually. They’re different from a photo or memento. They preserve this great, random moment in time—forever,” said Coe.

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