Film students take on the 24-hour film festival challenge

24 hours to transform an idea into a film


Megan Drumm

Film students Mia Robinson (left) and Kindred Curry (right) review a shot.

By Daniel Davidson and Nadia Sanburn

There are few reasons why a student would want to spend the night sleeping in Lawrence High. For senior Joseph Braun, his passion for filmmaking is one of them.

At 3:00 PM sharp yesterday, 21 of A/V teacher Zach Saltz’s students received their prompts and began crafting their projects for the Kansas 24-hour film festival. Not a minute could be wasted.

The prompts include a required shot, this year it being of someone tying their shoes, and required props, such as an envelope.

“It’s practically impossible to pre-plan for this festival,” Braun said. “So the instant the prompt comes out, you have to start working.”

Braun’s group of six students made their film about “Two idiots lose their spaghetti and go on a magic quest that isn’t quite magical.”

Each member plays a different part. From script-writing, acting, directing and editing, most students take up at least two jobs to get the project done in time. With time not on their side, Braun’s group brought pillows and sleeping bags to spend the night in the film room.

“It pushes you to your limits,” junior Finn Strong said. “You have to always be on your toes… it always gets a little scary around the [20] hour mark.”

This is Braun’s third year participating in the competition. For him, filmmaking is something he sees as a potential career.

“I just love the feeling of having the camera in hand because I always love to entertain people,” Braun said. “When I’m given the opportunity to sculpt what they see into how I want it to look… that’s just an amazing opportunity.”

In sophomore Emma Shockey’s first time in the festival, the time crunch is a learning curve.

“[It’s] crazy,” Shockey said. “You expect to have more time, but you’re wrong.”

Advisor Saltz’s role in this? Mainly driving and feeding, he said.

“I drive them, I buy them food, I give them feedback, but I do not help film, I do not help come up with the story, I do not act,” Saltz said. “It’s all about them.”

After each group’s project is done, they will drive to Eudora where their film will be screened alongside other Kansas school’s. For the past four years, Saltz has brought students to the competition to be judged by a panel of filmmakers and film professors who provide life feedback and award the best projects.

“It’s not about the awards,” Saltz said. “It’s really about having a fun experience and doing something that entertains people and makes an impact. It’s a creative outlet for students… they don’t do it for extra credit or anything, they just do it out of their love for storytelling…”

“You need to make something out of… all these different things, to make it into a mesh of something that’s something even somewhat interesting to watch,” Strong said.

The films will be uploaded on the YouTube channel Room 125 Productions after completion.