Reel Time: Teams work day and night for film challenge

Cincinnati freshman Adam Winkler(right) shares a plot idea with his Film challenge team in a dorm room in Poland Hall. Winkler is the cinematographer for the team as part of the 49 Hour Film Challenge. Teams had 49 Hours to write, shoot, and edit a film together using the provided genre, dialogue line, locations, and prop. The competition started Friday November 1 and was due completed at 7 p.m. Sunday November 3, 2013. 

Katherine Sproles

Doing anything in 49 hours may seem like all the time in the world, but filmmakers from WKU and the Warren County area were hard pressed to transform concepts into completed projects in that amount during the 49-Hour Film Challenge this weekend.

The challenge kick-off started at 7 p.m. Friday and went through to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Friday night, senior film major Anna Beth Gillon drew the prop (a mirror), genre (science fiction), character (a musician), location (a merry-go-round) and line of dialogue (“What time is your appointment?”) the teams were required to use in their film.

The films were judged 45 percent on artistic merit, 30 percent on the technical aspect and 25 percent adherence to the elements.

The now-annual film challenge began after 2004 when a group of WKU students and alumni entered Nashville’s version of the international 48-Hour Film project. Later, those students partnered with the School of Journalism and Broadcasting to create their own 48-hour event.

In 2013, the contest was permanently moved to the fall weekend of daylight savings time, making it the first 49-Hour Film Challenge.

More than 15 groups participated in the event.

Immediately after learning the requirements for the film, each team began to piece together their stories.

The team directed and led by Bowling Green freshman Jordan Upton described their story line as a “science-fiction soap-opera.” The main character, played by Bowling Green freshman Hayleigh Banks, is impregnated by her boyfriend, played by Louisville freshman Brent Coughenour.

Upton also acts in the movie. His character is in love with Banks but is angered by the pregnancy. The character hires a hit man to travel into the past to kill Banks. The hit man, it turns out, is Banks’ son.

Upton’s team primarily shot their film on campus, but because WKU lacks the carousel required to be in the film, the team had to come up with an alternative. The team took to Greenwood Mall only to learn another team had already done so and alerted mall security guards.

When they arrived, the guard told Upton that video recording wasn’t allowed, but the team could take a family photo with the carousel instead.

Originally, the carousel was meant to be the hit man’s vehicle for time travel, but Coughenour said the setback wasn’t crucial enough to change their core story idea.

Another team took the sci-fi element and created a pill that, when swallowed, makes the main character hear strange voices, specifically the voice of someone trying to kill her.

Directed by Louisville freshman Ryan Duvall, the team got off to a rocky start after they scrapped their first idea. The team almost changed their plans again and went back to their original idea but decided to stick with their second one.

Somerset junior Rachel Guffey, an editor on Duvall’s film, said she is happy the group stayed with their original idea.

“If you asked me this morning, (Sunday) I definitely would have said no, but now it’s really coming together,” Guffey said. “I’m very glad we stuck to this instead of switching last minute.”

Through ups and downs, naps and reshoots, both teams managed to turn in finished products that met the requirements.

Time constraints forced Duvall’s team to export their finished film in low quality to meet the 7 p.m. deadline. The team submitted their work, “Sententia,” at 6:56 p.m.

Coughenour said he and the members of Upton’s team felt confident. Upton’s group was the first to turn in its finished film, “The Contractor,” on Sunday at 6:13 p.m.

“We were pepping our step and felt like we should have been going down the yellow brick road,” he said, as they turned in the finished product.

The movies premiered Monday, Nov. 4 in the Mass Media auditorium. 

In first place, winning $300, was X-Rea Productions with their film “Displacement.” Writer Bradley Englert described the plot as “a man, the victim of a scientific experiment, is constantly sent to the past to kill a man and test the elements of time.”

Director and Paducah senior Brad Rea said despite the few things he wished he had done differently, he was happy.

“I feel freaking awesome,” Rea said. “I’m really happy with the final product.”