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UCOL students prepare for fast and furious film-making

15 May 2012

Film-making will be more frantic than ever for UCOL Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging and video diploma students this weekend.


In a record for UCOL, four teams will take part in the V48 Hour Film Festival. New Zealand’s largest film-making contest starts at 7.00pm on Friday night and ends exactly 48 hours later on Sunday evening.


UCOL Video lecturer in the Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging (BAVI) programme Mel Edmon says, “This year the V48 Hour is huge for us. We have three second year student teams entered and one third year student team,” she says.  “The second years are required to participate as part of their course work. The third years just couldn’t help themselves, and are doing it because they loved the experience so much last year.”


Third year BAVI students Dan Scott and Mike Watson are part of Team Mo Faux. The eight member crew is made up of students who ‘bonded in adversity’ during last year’s competition. “The V48 Hour is a real adrenalin buzz,” says Dan. “We have an advantage this year as we know what to expect from the weekend – lots of dramas and not much sleep!”


Second year BAVI student and producer of the Take 9 crew Alice Johansen, says the expected pressure of the competition excites her, “I don’t scare easily.”


She says the three second year teams are working closely together in preparation for the chaotic two days.


“We have been scouting possible locations, gaining filming permission where necessary and forming basic story lines,” she says. “There is a lot of behind-the-scenes planning over and above the film-making process. We’ve had to arrange the catering for the weekend and amongst everything else, have managed to perfect the recipe for fake blood.” 


The 48 Hour Film Festival is also part of the UCOL Diploma in Performing Arts students’ assessment this year. Formal auditions were held and the budding actors have been cast to allocated teams.


Jaime Dorner, Programme Leader of the Diploma in Performing Arts, believes the V48 Hour competition is an incredible opportunity to incorporate a collaborative process between disciplines.  “Acting and film-making are codependent on each other, so we are creating a synergy which will be a learning tool, as well as a more professional product”, says Jaime.


It is the sixth year that teams of students from UCOL have taken part and the second year it has been integrated as part of the second year BAVI course assessment.


Mel says the contest is a great way for students to learn by doing. “They have to plan well and work together to meet a very tight deadline. “It is a brilliant assessment tool in an environment that you can’t recreate in the classroom.”


All teams are assigned a movie genre at 7.00 pm on the Friday night. They must then write their script, produce storyboards, arrange locations, costumes and props before their shoot begins on the Saturday morning.


Editing and post production takes place as the film is still being shot. All entries must be submitted by the 7.00 pm Sunday deadline. 


Dan Scott says the highly charged film-making competition has taught him a lot about how he, and others, performs under pressure.


“We quickly learnt how to build on our strengths – there’s not enough time to build on your weaknesses!” 


Photo: The teams prepare for a frenetic weekend of film-making.


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