Photo by Rebecca Calzavara

Meaghann MacLeod (left), and students (right) hard at work filming.

About 500 students at Durham College got to show off their creativity after being challenged by their dean.

Greg Murphy, dean of the School of Media, Art and Design (MAD), introduced an opportunity for the students to participate in an event call the 48-hour Film Challenge. The event ran Oct. 11-14.

The students were divided into groups of 11, with a couple of students from each of the MAD programs in each group, such as journalism, broadcasting for contemporary media and digital video production.  The groups then got together and were assigned a genre of film, a prop, a character and a piece of dialogue that had to be in their film, which had to be exactly two minutes long. The genres included: mystery, romance, mockumentary, horror and western.

This marked the first time Durham College has participated in a film challenge, according to Murphy.

Students were put to the test to see how creative they could be with what they were given and with people they had never met before.

“I was a bit skeptical going in because we were going to be meeting people we haven’t met before from different programs, I was worried about people not getting along,” said Meaghann MacLeod, second year student in Broadcasting for Contemporary Media. She explained that she really enjoyed her group and they all got along nicely.

This challenge brought strangers together to use their creative skills to put together a two-minute film in 48 hours.

The teams only had 48 hours to develop, write, film and edit their short movie. At the end of 48 hours, the teams submitted their final projects, which were played at the Cineplex Odeon theatre in Oshawa.

All 50 groups created and submitted their short film. Murphy says that usually when this type of challenge happens only 68 per cent of groups complete it, but Durham College had 100 per cent completion from its groups.

“I think it was fabulous. It exceeded my expectation by a mile, it was just great and so much fun,” Murphy explained. There were prizes at the end of the screenings, for each category.

There was also a ‘Deany’ award. The award has a small statuette of Greg Murphy and a wooden base. The plans are that the names of the winning team will be engraved on the base and displayed for everyone to see.

The winning group’s movie was quite a mystery. It started off with four people in a police station getting questioned about who poisoning the dog. There were two women and two men. One man didn’t know how to speak English but surprisingly said ‘vegan’ very clearly. The other man got accused for the murder because he was black. One woman said she didn’t know what happened. When the officer blamed the man because he was black the other woman said it was her. Very unexpected.

The winning team group member, Darryl Callahan, explained he had a great time filming and it was fun to work with people he has never worked with before.

“I thought it was going to be a mess but then even seeing all 50 films it was well put together,” Callahan said.

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Rebecca is a second year Journalism student at Durham College. She enjoys writing opinion, campus and entertainment pieces for The Chronicle. In her free time, she likes to listen to music and play with her kitten.