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Post Column: Film fest a worthwhile weekend challenge

This weekend I participated in OU’s 48-Hour Shootout. I joined because I love a good challenge and I heard it was a ton of fun.

The shootout started at 6 p.m. on Friday and went until 6 p.m. on Sunday. My team and I began the start of the shootout with a pitch meeting to form ideas. Each team gets a genre, a prop and a line it must use in the short film. The final product must be between three and five minutes, minus credits.

My team was given dark comedy as our genre. We had to use a hoodie at some point and the line, “There’s something they’re not telling us.”

My team’s pitch meeting lasted only 45 minutes, which was relatively short compared to some groups. Most of the team consisted of members of Blue Pencil Comedy, a student stand-up group. Because of that, we didn’t have much conflict in the way we worked with each other. Three members wrote the script that night. Our idea was a murder mystery with adults who acted like children.

The whole team was thrilled with the idea, and the next day started at 9 a.m. Another group started their days off as early as 4 or 5 a.m.

Shooting the movie took all day, but with a group of six members we worked pretty efficiently. We had our director Ryan Gabos shooting, while producer Hannah Ticoras set up lighting and took care of other crew maintenance. My fellow three actors and I tried not to screw up too badly. Shooting a film takes patience because each scene requires different angles and lighting. Some scenes took three or four different angles to get the shot.

The worst part was when I had to lie on the ground (my character was dead at this point) for about 30 minutes. The last 10 minutes, another character was lying on top of me, and the scene had to be shot several different times. My leg went numb, but I survived.

I was done with my scenes at about 7 p.m. My team seemed to be on schedule with everything, which was surprising because many teams had to rewrite their scripts or had other issues. I ran into one group that started filming after 11 p.m. on Saturday night because they had rewritten their script.

The next morning, I awoke to a message saying that the team was having difficulty editing. Our whole film would be eight minutes long, three minutes past the limit. The story couldn’t be edited without losing our sense of dark comedy or making sense. Distraught, we decided not to enter our video because it would either be too long or be something we weren’t proud to represent.

The showing for the shootout was fun and had a lot of great films. While my team did not enter, we still wound up with a great film and something we are all proud to be a part of.

Jessica Ensley is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Email her at


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