The winner of the 2020 Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies' 48-Hour Shootout, "Praise the Roof," by :(.

Team :( Receives First Place in 48-Hour Shootout For ‘Praise the Roof’

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For the past 17 years, Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies has hosted an annual 48-hour Shootout competition wherein students are put to the test to create a film from start to finish during a weekend of collaboration, teamwork, and creativity. The Shootout, supervised by Andie Walla, a lecturer of video production, began at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 20, and ended at 6 p.m. on February 22. The students formed their own teams and worked together to include a specific prop, genre, and line of dialogue into their film.

“Well, we didn’t find out our prop, genre, or line of dialogue until 6:01 p.m., so we were already behind” Calvin Gunderson, assistant director, actor, and the music writer for the winning film, Praise the Roof, joked. The winning team called themselves “:(“. “I think from 6 p.m.-7 p.m., we were just spitballing ideas, and by 7 p.m., we knew what we were going to do, and we were filling in the story beats until about 8 p.m. At that point, Hayden stepped up and started writing the script.”

Hayden Johnson, writer and actor, said he knew he wanted to make a film about a rock band. While the team was hoping to draw the “musical” genre, instead they drew “mockumentary,” which many of their team members had worked on last year. Their prop was a wallet, and their line of dialogue was “Who invited that kid?” (taken from Toy Story).

“We were all kind of on the same page about what the story would be, so it was easy to fill in the funny parts and include the prop and line in the script.” Johnson said. “Our first idea was ‘Wallet and Grommit’.”

“I think something that helped us was that our prop was really easy to integrate, and so was our quote.” said Gunderson. “We can really do whatever we want for this, so that’s what we did.”

While Johnson wrote the script, Gunderson and other team members set off to gather instruments and write original music for the film: four songs total. The team stayed up until 4 a.m. recording the music.

The rules for the 48 are relatively simple: the teams must be comprised of 80 percent media students and the team captain must be a student in the School of Media Arts and Studies. Films must not exceed more than six minutes in length, including title slate and credits, and must adhere to the genre, and include their given prop and line of dialogue. Films must be PG-13 and have to be turned in by 6 p.m. the day of the showing to be judged and considered in the competition.

Nick Ruhenkamp, one of the producers of “Praise the Roof,” said that the main reason he participates is that it’s just a really fun experience.

“I think it’s the main reason why all of us media kids do it, it’s plain out fun. You saw how much fun we were having, not only on set but, you know, watching it come to life. I always tell my friends what we’re doing and they’re like ‘isn’t that stressful? Don’t you want to sleep and enjoy your weekend?’ And honestly, it’s a weekend that I always look forward to, it’s always something that I know I’m going to have a good time with and it helps your creativity and where you can go with things.”

“Just coming up with the story is always my favorite part, but I think this year when we all sat around the computer and watched the final cut, we were pretty blown away by it. It was a good feeling.” Gunderson said.

The 48 judge panel typically consists of five to seven professors in the media school, most of who know the students well. The competition is divided into two divisions for a more even scoring, one specifically for underclassmen and an open division.

“It’s always the beginning and the end that are the most fun, because at the beginning, you get to come up with this amazing, fun idea that you’re all in agreement on, and at the end, you get to see it come together.” Johnson said.

The shootout takes place each February, and team information is due roughly a month before the shootout. You can contact Andie Walla at and follow the competition’s Facebook page for updates.

“I guess my favorite part was all the memories and laughs and inside jokes, and everything that this weekend kind of brought, it brought us all closer together,” said Ruhenkamp. “We were all pretty close, but some of us had never worked together on a set before, and now I feel like I could take on any film with these people.”