Most films take months, sometimes years, to create. But for eight groups of Keene State College students, a film had to be created in just one week.
The 7 Day Film Festival began seven years ago, when four GoPros were donated to KSC as part of a grant to see who could make a film in seven days or less.
Groups who participate are given the same required line of dialogue and prop that must be incorporated into their film, chosen by the judges panel.
Each group is also given separate genres, which ranged from a telenovela to a mocumentary.
This year, the line of dialogue was, “What’s in the box?” and the prop was a musical recorder.
KSC senior and President of Keene State Media Productions Keelan Brown was this year’s festival director and said he was responsible for making the event run smoothly.
“Last year, I was assistant director,” Brown said. “It was nice to have that buffer period so I knew the process of it [7 Day Film Festival], and this year I definitely felt more organized.”
Brown said because the groups only had seven days to film, he and the rest of the festival staff only had seven days to prepare for the event.
“Before we start planning, we need to get the judges panel together because they are responsible for more than just judging the festival, they also choose the dialogue and prop, along with the list of genres,” Brown said. “We then have the launch meeting at the start of the week where we tell them their genre, prop and line of dialogue, and in the seven days they are filming, we have seven days to collect all the films and build the program.”
KSC first-year Corinn Colford described the experience as stressful. Her group was given the genre period piece, meaning it needed to take place in a historical era. The film was in black and white and took on a murder mystery-esque plot.
“It took a long time that first night to figure out what our film would be about,” Colford said. “In previous films we’ve done together, we have this reoccurring character, so we decided to bring him into it and then the ideas started to swarm.”
The event required no more than four people to a group, but KSC first-year Jack Callahan took that requirement to the next level.
Callahan decided to work solo during the festival after a few friends he was working with dropped out in the beginning of the week.
“My genre was a musical and a friend of mine wrote all the music originally for it. Other than that, my other group members said they had too much stuff to do, but I didn’t want to drop out, so I decided to do it by myself,” Callahan said.
According to Callahan, the experience of working by himself was challenging, but worthwhile.
“It was really hard because when you work with a group you can have someone worrying about the sound [and] someone worrying about the props, but when you’re by yourself, it’s all you. It’s just a lot easier working with more people,” Callahan said.
After each film was shown, two awards were given to two different films – Audience Choice and Judge’s Choice.
KSC junior Veronica Spadaro was one of the three judges and said the judging was based on editing, characters, plot and how the group used the assigned props and dialogue.
Callahan’s film, “Boxing Day,” was the Judge’s Choice Award winner, leaving him with $1,000 in B&H credits.
“It [‘Boxing Day’] was clever. The music was original and it used the prop and dialogue well,” Spadaro said.
The Audience Choice Award went to the slapstick tragedy, “Sub 1.5,” and each group member received a $50 Amazon gift card.
Olivia Belanger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org