One representative from each of the 17 participating teams in this year’s 48-hour shootout gathered in the womblike interior of Baker 230 on Friday, February 2 at 5 p.m. to receive their randomly assigned prop, line of dialogue, and genre for the film they will cobble together in only 48 hours. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

PHOTOS: 2018 48-Hour Shootout Kick Off

Posted on:

< < Back to

Early in the spring semester every year, dozens of Ohio University Media Arts and Studies students take to the streets of Athens with their audiovisual equipment in hand to achieve the seemingly impossible: crafting a film in a scanty 48 hours.

Their resources include the equipment room in the RTV building on the OU campus and whatever else they happen to own or can scrounge up. The event starts at 6 p.m. on a Friday (this year that Friday being February 2,) and concludes that very same Sunday at 6 p.m. with a free showcase of the completed films in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the event, and the first that Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies lecturer Andie Walla will serve as the faculty advisor for.

“Frederick Lewis has been running this for the past 15 years, and at this point it’s a pretty well-oiled machine,” said Walla a few days for the kickoff for the 2018 event. “Students in the media arts and studies school look forward to this every year, and winning it is a coveted bragging right among students.”

Students in Baker 230, preparing to receive the random genres, lines of dialogue, and props they must include into their 48-hour shootout film. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

Walla decided to keep the majority of the details about the event the same: on Friday evening each of the 17 teams was randomly assigned a genre, a prop, and a quote (this year all of the quotes are taken from various superhero movies,) that they music incorporate into their film.

For the first (and, likely, the last) year, the students enrolled in Ohio University’s Ohio in L.A. program will be participating. However, they have a submission deadline that is a half hour earlier than the Athens-based teams, and they must attend each of the mandatory meetings via video call.

In the midst of the kick off meeting for the 2018 48-hour shootout, all students must hand over their phones so they are not cognizant of the passage of time as they receive the random genres, props, and lines of dialogue that they must incorporate into their film. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

This year Walla is working alongside three student producers, who are assisting in organizing the endeavor. Among those students are Annabelle Fisher, a veteran to the 48-hour shootout process, and Ben Carpenter, one of the students who works in the equipment room.

Perhaps the biggest change to the event is the way in which the presentation of the films on Sunday, which will no longer include the exhausted, awkward words from someone on each presenting team.

Studnets express a wide range of emotions while receiving their props, lines of dialogue, and genres for their 48-hour shootout. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

“By Sunday, the students are delirious, and it’s always very awkward when they get up to present their film,” said Walla. “So, we’re going to have each team submit a couple of words about their film that they would like the judges to know, which will be read off by the emcees of the event. We’re hoping this will improve the screening experience for everyone.”

Walla, who participated in a number of the early shootouts and has judged a few herself, said that typically the portions of the productions that are lacking are audio and on-screen talent. To curb the issues with acting, Walla has worked to incorporate contact information for the Lost Flamingo Company, the non-major, student-organized theatre troupe associated with Ohio University, into the general information that students receive when the shootout kicked off.

A student scribbles down the assigned portions of their 48-hour shootout film. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

Some of the judges for this year’s competition include Alex Kamody of the Athena Cinema and a number of faculty and staff from the media arts and studies program.

“We have a great panel of judges lined up this year, and a big part of what they’re going to be focusing on is how true each group stays to their assigned genre and line of dialogue and prop,” said Walla. “Every year there are groups that blow off their prop or genre, and those things are important, as well as general production value and an original and creative idea.”

The means by which students are assigned their prop, line of dialogue, and genre for the 2018 48-hour shootout are entirely random. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)

All 17 groups gathered in Baker 230 at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 2 to receive their props, lines of dialogue, and genre. Although some were disappointed and others delighted in their random assignments, one thing is for certain: this is a weekend that will remain one of their most intense (and, depending, perhaps most unpleasant,) experiences in undergrad.

“This is an event that really challenges students to use their resources wisely, and I think that is the biggest thing that they take away from this,” said Walla, who said she remains close friends with the rest of her 48-hour shootout team from the years she participated in the competition. “Maybe the people who were on my (48-hour shootout) team went into that experience not being the best of friends, but it was certainly a bonding experience by the time we were finished with it. A lot can happen in 48 hours.”

All of the submitted films from this year’s 48-hour shootout will be screened in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Sunday, February 4 at 6 p.m. Attendance is entirely free! Keep tabs on WOUB’s coverage of the 2018 48-hour shootout on Twitter @woubculture and on Facebook. Follow the hashtag #48hourOU for social media posts throughout the weekend associated with the shootout.