Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post

Constance Leeson acting out a scene as part of the weekly graduate student playwriting series "Madness" (Provided via Kristin Yates)

OU students must create productions with little preparation

Some playwrights take years to come up with ideas for short films, but some Ohio University students are only given a few days.

“Nothing creates progress like knowing you’ve got almost no time left,” Sam McCoy, a senior studying integrated media, said.

There are some competitions at OU that require students to create short productions. Those competitions encourage students to develop their skills and innovate creative ideas. 

McCoy is one of the many Media Arts and Studies students who has participated in the annual 48-hour-shootout competition. It’s a two-day practice full of stress that everyone who has a passion for media should go through, McCoy said.

“(A 48-hour shootout) shows you what you’re really capable of,” McCoy said. “It drives you to do something you wouldn’t normally do and creates a sort of camaraderie along the way.”

Media students are only given an item, a genre and a phrase that must appear in the film. In the short amount of time that teams have they must write, shoot and edit the film.

“The two days are a complete rush of adrenaline and it’s awesome,” McCoy said. “It can really come down to the wire, so when you finally finish something like that it’s so satisfying.”

Coming up with ideas on how to create something from only three things can be difficult, but McCoy believes that everyone is creative and capable enough to generate something cool.

“When you throw people into the deep end of the pool, you really get to see what kind of things they have up their sleeves,” McCoy said.

Kristin Yates, a senior studying theater performance, has never performed in a 48-hour-shootout film. But she has experienced performing in “Midnight Madness,” a weekly production by students earning their Master of Fine Arts.

“Madness” is a graduate student class that’s designed so that students learning playwriting are constantly writing plays. Yates has been an actor in a number of “Madness” productions.

“It’s a super casual show in which the actors are allowed to have the actual script in hand,” Yates said. “The show is mainly about the playwrights and getting their words out there to be heard.”

From acting in "Madness," Yates has discovered a lot about herself as an actor. It’s a fun process that’s about putting yourself out there and having a good time. 

“Madness has helped me out a lot regarding my anxiety,” Yates said. “Not everything on the stage has to be perfect, and the more I did it, I realized I didn’t need to take it so seriously because it wasn’t about my vision, but the student directing.”

The process at times could be stressful, but most of the time it was amazing and rewarding, Yates said.

“It’s a huge community-building production that can lead to connections and friendships,” Yates said. “At the end of the day, it’s about having fun and doing the playwrights justice as best you can.”

Yates regrets not getting involved as a freshman and missing out on the opportunities outside of being in the College of Fine Arts productions. 

Unlike Yates, Taylor Rohrig, a senior studying games and animation, jumped at the chance to participate in acting opportunities as a freshman and hasn’t looked back since. Rohrig has participated in 48-hour-shootout throughout the past four years.

“Every year is always such an adventure,” Rohrig said. “(A 48-hour shootout) is incredibly stressful and you don’t get much sleep, but you really find out how hard you can work in such a short amount of time.”

Every hour counts and students have to plan for error, Rohrig said. As soon as you get behind schedule things can take a turn for the worst.

“All you can do is try your best and not think of it as if you’re making the next cinematic masterpiece,” Rohrig said. “Having fun with it is the main point of the entire competition.”

During Rohrig’s sophomore year, her group shot for 15 hours straight, skipping lunch and dinner, which created conflict between members.

“If anything went slightly wrong we would snap at each other,” Rohrig said. “Everyone was just tired and stressed and all we could snack on were our pancake props.”

Despite those complications, Rohrig would do 48-hour-shootout again in a heartbeat.

“Once you make a film you don’t really want to stop making them,” Rohrig said.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2023 The Post, Athens OH