There are a lot of things in life that require more than 48 hours of effort, but the way Associated Students KVIK Coordinator Robert Bojorquez sees it, making a short film isn’t one of them.
Bojorquez brought Western its own 48-Hour Film Festival last year, and this April the festival is back for its second iteration. Teams of eager filmmakers, willing to forgo sleep and all other commitments for 48 hours, will come together, draw genres out of a hat and then set about bringing an entire movie to life in just two days. The teams will be provided with a character, a line of dialogue and a prop that they must incorporate, and the final films cannot exceed 10 minutes. Other than that, there are no guidelines, rules or expectations. You draw your genre, set out into the night and return 48 hours later with a finished movie.
"By containing it to just 48 hours, there’s so much more eagerness," Bojorquez said. "It’s really a test of what you can do."
Teams will be composed of three to six people, and students can register either as a team or as an individual. Individual registrants will be assigned to a team that is willing to accept extra members. All of the team members must be Western students with a valid ID card, but each team can recruit up to five additional people to help out with acting and fill specific roles that students may not convincingly be able to play, such as the elderly or an infant.
"It’s really non-cliquey," said Cody Olsen, AS Films Coordinator and co-coordinator of the festival. "If you don’t have a team, that’s fine, we’ll put you with someone."
Bojorquez and Olsen both encouraged everyone who is interested to participate, regardless of experience.
"Everyone can participate, be it filmmakers, Fairhaven students or freshman in their dorms, that like to make goofy videos," Bojorquez said. "They can all rally around this. The whole point of the festival is to shake all the filmmakers at Western out of the woodwork and get them to all collaborate and compete with one another."
The films will be shown at a premiere on April 20 in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room and will be judged by a panel of five Western faculty members from the film and theater departments. The top three films will all be shown later at the Pickford Theater.
Bojorquez brought the festival to campus last year, after growing up in Spokane and witnessing an annual 48-hour film festival every New Year’s Eve.
"It just seemed like something other students would get involved in," he explained. "It’s not a huge commitment and it lets everyone be a part of what KIVK has to offer."
He said he is impressed with the buzz and excitement that is starting to surround the festival.
"This year, I had people come up to me in October and tell me how excited they were for the festival," he said. "I was like, ‘That’s great, but I haven’t even started planning it yet.’"
The excitement among those who experienced the festival last year is running high. Hayley McVay, who coordinated the festival with Bojorquez last year, is participating this year as a filmmaker and said she is thrilled by the opportunity to see the festival from a different side.
"Last year it was so incredible to see all the seemingly small things that Robert and I did to plan it lead to eight films. It was just so amazing to see the creativity of our student community and I’m excited to see it again," McVay said.
"Part of the reason it’s taken off so quickly is because it’s a simple idea," Olsen explained. "It’s easy to communicate the concept and for the filmmakers, it’s pretty clear what they need to do."
It may be clear, but it certainly won’t be easy. Olsen, who participated in the festival last year as a filmmaker, said his best advice to participants this year is to find a way to quickly move on from discouragement.
"Things are going to go wrong for every team," he said. "Just look up at the night sky and know someone else out there is super tired, too. It will be a rollercoaster of good and bad and you’ll come out stronger. Pain is temporary, but glory is forever."
Everyone is welcome to witness the filmmakers’ attempts at glory at the Saturday-night premiere at the end of the festival. Bojorquez and Olsen said the audience can expect an impressive variety of films – and a lot of tired filmmakers.
"It will be a strange mix of sleep deprivation and adrenaline," Olsen said.
Bojorquez said this year he and Olsen have widened the scope of the genres that will be available for the teams to draw, hoping to cast a wider net and broaden the scope of the final films.
"If you like watching all different kinds of movies, that’s what you’ll see," Bojorquez said.
Bojorquez will be graduating at the end of the year, but he hopes his successor at KVIK will continue the festival for years to come.
"I did sneak the word ‘annual’ in the official event title," Bojorquez warned. "So they’re kind of obligated to bring it back and if they don’t, I might send them a few emails about it."
The registration deadline for the festival is Monday, April 15 and registration must be completed online. Registration forms and more information can be found on the KVIK Facebook page. For any questions about the festival, email Bojorquez or Olsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.