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Drake Broadcasting System to host annual film festival

by KENDALL HUNT

Drake University will be hosting its annual 48-hour film festival across campus from Feb. 28 until March 1. Led by the Drake Broadcasting System, the competition involves writing, shooting and editing a 3 to 10 minute short film in a 48-hour window. 

The sign-up deadline for the event is Feb. 27, but students are encouraged to register earlier with DBS. There is no cost for students to sign up and no limit to the amount of people in a video group. Students are required, however, to bring their own camera, which can be a phone or any filming device.

The Drake Broadcasting System, a student-led media organization that helps to promote student involvement in broadcasting, video production, radio streaming and journalism, will be running and organizing the event.

A much anticipated event, the festival has been a success for DBS in the past, solidifying the organization’s presence on campus and emphasizing the group’s convivial atmosphere. This year, in particular, DBS hopes to recruit more theater students to fill acting positions in video groups and draw in new freshman and sophomores interested in film. 

“I think the festival is just a fun opportunity, and it only happens once a year,” said DBS Livestream Coordinator Rachel Hartley. “It teaches professionalism, keeping up with deadlines and also prioritizing what needs to be done in order to create your final product.”

President of DBS, Lucius Pham, has helped organize the film festival for the past two years. 

He believes the contest helps encourage students to practice and experiment with filmmaking, as well as take advantage of all the broadcasting equipment and production tools at Drake. 

Pham, who competed in last year’s festival, encourages everyone to participate and learn, even those without prior experience.

“I competed in the 48-hour film festival last year and had a really good time,” Pham said. “Having the time crunch really forces you to get creative and moving. Eventually, you get a product that you’re proud of and worked hard on. Overall, I think it’s really valuable for people to get experience and just make a movie.”

At the end of the festival, all of the finished videos will be posted to the DBS Facebook page, Pham said. The video with the most reactions after one week will be crowned the winner and receive a prize, which will be revealed after the competition. 

Carson Reichardt, a junior double majoring in news and sociology, was one of the past winners, taking second place in last year’s film festival and receiving a $25 gift card to 8 Degrees Ice Cream and Boba. Although Reichardt had experience in the past with video production as a news major, he enjoyed the challenge the film festival presented and the overall process.

“We moved all over campus,” Reichardt said. “It took about 12 hours of just shooting. It was a challenge to figure out how we’d shoot and how we could edit as fast as possible.”

For Reichardt and other students, including Pham, the hardest and most rewarding aspect of the contest was incorporating a random prop, chosen from a hat, as a feature in the film.

Chris Snider, a professor at Drake who leads several multimedia classes in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has worked with students in DBS and witnessed a number of film festival productions. Snider suggests everyone go out and try the event, and he plans to send out emails to encourage students from all disciplines to sign up.

“I think [the contest] is great because digital media skills are in demand,” Snider said. “DBS is allowing students to have another outlet to shoot more video and create more stories with audio. The festival gives students a chance to immediately be involved with having a camera in their hands their first year and learn, without having to wait to get into a class later to experiment with film.”

Additionally, Snider advocates for the importance of film and media in modern society. He hopes that the film festival will remind students of their power and influence in media and their abilities to just go out and create. 

“Things are much more visual now, so we’re used to getting information in a more visual way,” Snider said. “Even 5 years ago, most people were not comfortable shooting video and putting it on Instagram. But now, everyone is comfortable shooting video, and the videos are better than they were five years ago for sure. And so we need people within the JMC and within Drake who can do it better. There are plenty of videos out there, but we want ours to be good.”

For more information or help finding a team, contact lucius.pham@drake.edu.

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