A select group of West Chester University students earned the red-carpet treatment they received last Thursday night at the awards ceremony of the inaugural 48HR DubC Film Race at the J.P. Adler Theatre.
The event, which included a reception and judges discussion, was the celebration of a creative and unique opportunity available to all WCU students, regardless of their major, that enabled them to team up with friends and produce a short film in a two-day span.
Yes, students were tasked with writing, shooting, editing, and producing a three- to five-minute film in just 48 hours.
And the results, judged by four professionals in the filmmaking industry, were nothing short of outstanding.
The 48HR DubC Film Race was sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, West Chester Film Festival, and West Chester Together. The contest officially began on April 7, when a representative from each participating group of students selected a genre from a random drawing and was assigned required elements that must appear in the film, such as a prop and or line of dialogue.
The deadline for each group to submit its finished product – no less than three minutes and no more than five minutes – was exactly 48 hours later.
The first-place film – Alison Grey, a horror about a disturbed woman who kills her boyfriend – was made by Bryce Detweiler, Chad Forman, Julia Campbell, Aaron Gallant, and Drew Clark.
The second-place film, Affliction, was the product of Christina Bernhardt, Parker Kendall, Kevin MacLeod, Ivy Martin, Jenna Miele, Ed Otto, Julia Otto, Mary Ann Otto, Madison Penrose, Adriana Petta, and Kyle Schmidt.
And the third-place film, Four Walls, was created by Danni Beltz, Nicholas Billiris, and Chingjwok Dingmeijok.
Additional awards were given for Best Use of Prop, Best Use of Dialogue, and Best Use of Genre.
“The films were well-felt, and I found myself inspired by your work,” award-winning filmmaker Stephen Winter told the students.
In fact, all of the judges seemed spellbound by what the students were able to put together in just two days.
“You are all so far ahead of your time, and I challenge you to continue to cultivate your talent,” said Courtland Bragg, a WCU alum and Emmy Award-winning producer at NFL Films. “The world needs to hear the stories you have in your heart.”
Kendall Gearren, a freelance production coordinator, spoke about the importance of character development.
“Regardless of your money or budget, you can make a great film if you develop your characters well,” she said. “That’s what grabs an audience.”
Rob Fortunato, a freelance production manager, stressed the need to become an expert in a certain field in order to succeed in such an ultra-competitive industry.
“Filmmaking is a collaborative effort by a group of people who are experts in each field,” Fortunato said. “Whatever your skill, your passion is – whether it’s writing, shooting, editing, lighting, sound – hone in on that and become the expert.”
Click here to watch all of the submissions in the inaugural 48HR DubC Film Race.