OU Cinema Studies hosts 24-hour film challenge

The Department of Cinema Studies collaborated with the Oakland University Alumni Association to host another 24-hour film challenge.

OU started the 24-hour film challenge in 2014, it was originally created to have a film related event during homecoming week. The challenge started on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. and ended on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

In the past the films had to be made entirely on campus, using campus locations and the editing lab. This year, the participants had to work from home with people they know. To keep an even playing field among the teams, there was no equipment given out. 

The films used to be shown during a showcase event where the winners were also announced, but this year the videos were posted online then there was a zoom ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m.

Some students do the challenge multiple years in a row and even some alumni come back to OU just to participate. 

All details for the challenge are released the night before, on Thursday Oct. 22 at 7 p.m, so participants didn’t have much time to prepare. The theme of the films this year was “fall.” Some of the groups interpreted “fall” as the season, others as the action of falling. The films had to be two-to-four minutes long, and they couldn’t be silent films.

“It’s a good way to make sure there’s consistency between the films,” Kyle Edwards, associate professor of English and Cinema Studies said. “But also to challenge them to get creative with them and to see what ideas they come up with.” 

The films had some content requirements for locations and props. The participants had to include a closet, a park and a garage (either a home garage or a parking garage) in some shots of their film. They also had to make sure to include an OU logo, an egg and a pumpkin by either using it as a prop or having it in the background.

“It was really wild to see how they incorporated that, whether it was just something that was in the background of a shot or we had some students smashing pumpkins or making it the centerpiece of the movie,” Edwards said. 

There were eight awards given out during the award ceremony:

  • Best story
  • Best cinematography
  • Best editing
  • Best performance (ensemble)
  • Best use of sound or music
  • Creative integration of required props and/or location
  • Creative integration of required theme

The winners of the best film were seniors Michael Dorflinger, Sam Hirsch and Tavian Quince and freshman Anna Dorflinger. This is Michael Dorflinger and Hirsch’s second 24-hour film challenge. 

“We were very surprised,” Quince said. “Maybe because it was one of the silliest.”

This group’s film was “Coffee Sounds Nice” which was about killing people because they don’t like pumpkin spice lattes. 

During the creative process, the group evenly distributed the film work while switching on and off between on-screen roles. 

“We were throwing out a bunch of random ideas, I was stuck on murder for some reason, don’t know why,” Dorflinger said. “And then Anna was like ‘oh here’s a good idea’.”

This group felt accomplished with their film — even remarking that after getting into the groove of working from home on the film, they ended up enjoying this year’s competition more than past years.

“I thought it was cool how people worked around all the restrictions of [the various creative guidelines and having to film at home with a cell phone],” Hirsch said.