24 Hours to Make a Movie

On May 29, 2015 by Lori Z

This is a post by JBFC Communications Manager, Karolina Manko

challenge1 Today, we ready our filmmaking troops to take on one of the hardest, toughest, and most brutal of JBFC challenges. No, I’m not talking about buying a Friday-night movie ticket to a new release. I’m talking about making a movie in twenty-four hours!

This evening kicks off the Burns Film Challenge for high school students. At 5pm a dedicated and ambitious group of 35 students will gather in our Media Arts Lab screening room to ready themselves for the task of creating an original short film from start-to-finish. After JBFC faculty member and Burns Challenge organizer, Sean Weiner runs through the rules of conduct, the participants have twenty-four hours to story-board, script, shoot, and edit their films. Working in groups of 3-5 students, each team will be provided with film equipment and granted twenty-four hour access to our Media Arts Lab. Our dedicated faculty and equipment staff will be on-hand throughout the day/night to assist our tireless filmmakers and to troubleshoot any quirks that may arise.

But wait, there’s more! As if making a movie in twenty-four hours wasn’t already challenging enough, Sean has come up with three specific requirements that each team’s film must accomplish in order to compete for first place. These requirements ensure that none of our participants arrive with pre-scripted or pre-planned ideas, and that all Burns Film Challengecontent is original. We do our best to keep them a secret, so you’ll have to check back at 5pm for the big reveal. In the meantime, check out last year’s winning film. Good luck to all of our students and staff! We salute your hard work and anxiously await your films.

If you’d like real-time updates on this year’s Burns Film Challenge, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. (We’re using #JBFClab.)


One Response to “24 Hours to Make a Movie”

  • Louise Olay

    Our film is called Bleachers and I was part of group 6. When I first arrived at the film center it was my first time in Pleasantville. I came as an individual. People were filing into the screening room as large guy-groups of friends and I was getting worried that I came unprepared with a team. Another girl came in by herself too sat behind me so I asked her if she’s ever done this before. Since we were talking she was put into my group with people who I never met before either. We were originally a group of 4 girls. Our teammate Troy came late but became an exceptional asset to our team. As the following hours passed we got to know each other as peers and artists while we developed our storyboard. We worked together like we’ve collaborated for years besides the fact we just met a few minutes ago. After some hours of developing we were told the maximum run-time for these films are to be 5-10 minutes. At this point we’ve developed enough for a 30 minute short. We contemplated starting from scratch with the concern of the film being too condensed if we started removing scenes and concepts. With this new issue at hand, 5 hours into the challenge, we went to the diner across the street. We decided to keep our plot and started filming the next morning. We drove around Yonkers for ideal locations then back to Pleasantville to edit. Another amazing factor of working with this group was the fact no one did more or less. We all had important roles in developing, filming, AND editing. We sat at different computers, editing different scenes to preserve time and stress on one person. With this process we exported an hour early to appreciate the work we’ve accomplished.

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