April 14, 2016
Participation in K-State's first film festival exceeds expectation
Seven K-State students made history when their team took first place in the university's inaugural K-State 48-Hour Film Festival.
"Bluffing," a six-minute murder mystery filmed in an apartment in the Wareham Hotel, features students playing poker when their game goes awry. Team Couch won $500, and members included five students majoring in broadcast journalism: Dakaota German, Tana Akers, Santiago Amarilla, Zach Radabaugh and Clarissa Weers. Completing the team were Blane Worley, graduate student in math, and Jaden Woofter, political science and media arts.
"The Sketch" by the team STORY ARC claimed a $250 cash prize, and "Disconnected" by team "48-DOMINATE" took third place and received $100. In total, 12 teams participated in the competition, and prizes were distributed during the awards ceremony April 9.
Woofter, a member of Team Couch who works as a student video editor in the College of Education, said the group came up with the poker game concept during a brainstorming session after the kickoff event.
"Coming up with the idea was fun, but it was strenuous making something in such a short amount of time," Woofter said. "None of us slept for a solid 36 hours."
Rusty Earl, College of Education videographer and an event organizer, explained each film had to contain three elements — dialogue that included the words "make sure you're right," a shot of a prominent building on campus, and a food item used as a prop.
Jeff Carson, founder and partner of Gizmo Pictures in Topeka, was one of the competition's three judges. He was impressed with the students' creativity and production quality of the films.
"There were drone shots, lots of long lens shots, good lighting and some stories with excellent surprises," Carson said. "It makes me want to see more work from these students down the road."
What did Woofter learn from the experience?
"Teamwork is really difficult but always worth it in the end," he said. "It's important to let people play to their strengths."
Matthew Blomberg, a K-State news production specialist and an event organizer, believes the festival struck a creative chord with students.
"In the beginning, we wondered whether students would respond to an event like this, but the enthusiasm from them, and the quality of their submissions really drove home the point that this campus needs an outlet for filmmaking," Blomberg said. "I hope we can continue to bring this opportunity to students in the coming years."
Members of the planning committee would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the many sponsors who made this event possible, especially Provost April Mason.
"Without Provost Mason's lead sponsorship, this event would likely not have been possible," Blomberg said, with Earl's steadfast agreement. "I hope each sponsor realizes the impact they had on these students and the university as a whole. It really was an amazing 48 hours."
Sponsors included the Division of Communications and Marketing, the College of Education, the Staley School of Leadership Studies, the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Hale Library and the Media Development Center. Off-campus sponsors included Jeff's Pizza Shop and Hy-Vee of Manhattan.
Members of the K-State 48-Hour Film Festival planning committee include Matthew Blomberg, Rusty Earl, Donna Schenck-Hamlin, project coordinator in the Center for Engagement and Community Development; Nick Homburg, graduate student in mass communications; Tom Hallaq, assistant professor in journalism and mass communications; Shelia Ellis-Glasper, news and digital media specialist; Ellen DeBord, client manager in the Division Communications and Marketing; Jahvelle Rhone, information technology coordinator; Ryan Otto, assistant professor in Hale Library; and Ambrosia Cooper, client manager in the Division of Communications and Marketing.