Paper airplanes, romantic comedies: 24-Hour Film Race brings creative opportunity

Listed+from+left+to+right%2C+the+winners+of+this+year%27s+competition+were+junior+Raphael+Gray%2C+senior+Jalen+Graves+and+sophomore+Lazabia+Jackson%2C+all+from+the+College+of+Communication.+Photo+courtesy+of+Jalen+Graves.

Listed from left to right, the winners of this year’s competition were junior Raphael Gray, senior Jalen Graves and sophomore Lazabia Jackson, all from the College of Communication. Photo courtesy of Jalen Graves.

Students and faculty gathered at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 for the fifth annual 24-Hour Film Race hosted by Marquette University Film Club.

Kris Holodak, assistant professor of digital media and performing arts and self-proclaimed facilitator of the race, said teams are given a prop, a genre and a line of dialogue to use in their film.

Holodak said this year the prop was a paper airplane, the genre was romantic comedy and the line of dialogue was “Thanks for that.”

“Twenty-four hours later, we got four films back,” Holodak said.

Sarah Feldner, acting dean of the College of Communication, decided to participate in the film race on a faculty team this year.

“It’s pretty informal, but it’s an opportunity for students to be together and for them to get more practice making film,” Feldner said.

Teams can be formed ahead of time or on the spot, Holodak said.

“It’s all very casual, and we’re here to have fun,” Holodak said.

Additionally, any student on campus is welcome to participate, regardless of college.

While this year’s student teams consisted mainly of students from the College of Communication, Holodak said in years past students have come from colleges like the College of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Students do not need to prepare for this experience or have a background in film.

“I think often they don’t prepare at all, which is perfectly fine — that’s sort of part of the fun,” Holodak said.

The race fosters an environment for those looking to enhance their skills or try something new without the stress of a grade.

“I think everybody who comes has fun. It’s meant to be fun. We’re not doing it for a grade. … Just get out and be creative, and I think most people do,” Holodak said.

Feldner said the film race is another opportunity to enhance students’ skills outside of the classroom.

“I think it’s community-building, and it’s also a chance to showcase students’ abilities and powers and give them one more chance to engage and create work,” Feldner said.

Seeing all of the hard work come together and watching the films are some of Holodak’s favorite parts of the race.

“I sort of love the two hours from 5:30 to 7:30 on Sunday because it’s all the energy and last minute ‘Oh my god can we make it happen?’ and then all of the fun of watching the films,” Holodak said.

The winners of this year’s race were senior Jalen Graves, sophomore Lazabia Jackson and junior Raphael Gray, all in the College of Communication.

Both Feldner and Holodak said one of the things that set the winners apart from the other films was their use of humor.

Holodak said that because the genre was romantic comedy, all of the films were successfully funny, however, what set the winning team apart was that their film had the entire room laughing the whole time.

Feldner agreed that the films were extremely funny.

“I will say from my position as long-time faculty and currently acting dean I was super impressed. … They were entertaining, and I would watch them again,” Feldner said.

Graves and Gray participated in the 24-Hour Film Race last year, but said they missed a win because they did not have sound in their film. Graves said the team learned from its technical difficulties going into the race this time.

“It was challenging but fun. … We were told if it had sound, we could have won because they liked it that much,” Graves said. “This year, we made sure everything was good technology-wise, and we came in first.”

Holodak said she encourages more students to participate in the future.

“We do it every year in November, and the more the merrier,” Holodak said. “The more that come out, the more fun that everybody has.”