By ANJANI IMAN
18 students from Mrs. Hali Kessler’s (Visual and Performing Arts dept.) Advanced Video class participated in the districtwide 48 Hour Film Festival. The 48 Hour Film Festival, also dubbed “the 48,” as well as the 24 Hour Film Fest of January, is hosted by the FilmEd program. FilmEd provides summer workshops and equipment and hosts film festivals for students from Irvine to Capistrano Valley.
Students have 48 hours to film and edit a short film. With the 48, unlike the 24, FilmEd emails each school two options of genre for its respective short film three weeks in advance. The high schools have time to pre-produce and fully write their scripts for their chosen genres. For UHS, the options were Detective or Comedy short film. The class decided upon comedy. FilmEd also provides schools the option to create a short film with a pre-written script. It is up to the school to create the actions, locations and props to accompany said script.
Mrs. Kessler and the Univision crew split into two groups as it is typical, with a crew of more than twenty students, for some students to be unnecessary and unproductive on set. UHS had two different submissions for this competition. One group of students filmed a comedic short film about three friends who accidentally kill their neighbor’s pet, starring Austin Barber (Jr.), Elias Tita (Jr.) and Dylan Cecot (So.). The other group of students filmed a short film based upon the given script provided by FilmEd. In it, an older man with unsightly bad luck tells a story to two bored generational teenagers, starring Natanael Cho (Sr.) and Corinne Alsop (So.). While the latter group decided to film in a variety of public locations, the comedy group filmed in the houses and neighborhoods of the cast and crew for accessibility and convenience. Christine Choi (Sr.), whose house and neighborhood were used as sets, said, “With such a limit on time, we wanted our sets to be simple and convenient so we had the freedom to create the best shots as possible for as long as we wanted.”
48 Hour Film Festival participants usually sleep very little for two nights at the crew’s “home base.” Joseph Hwang’s (Sr.) house is the home base for the editing of each Univision, so it was no surprise that his house was used for filming, editing and sleeping during the 48. Hwang said, “By Sunday afternoon my house was trashed, but I’m happy to offer my house because the cast and crew of our 48’s short film created something truly amazing that anyone would be proud of.” Ben Chiu (Sr.) of the scripted film’s team said, “I maybe got 4 hours of sleep; the 48 is an exhausting experience but really tests your dedication and endurance as a filmmaker.”
Students emailed FilmEd their completed short films by 4 pm on Sunday afternoon. For the Univision crew and volunteering actors, the weekend was exciting, hectic, lengthy and tiring, with which, however, came two high-quality submissions for the 48 Hour Film Festival.