Release Date: 11/29/2011
Clarksville, Ark. --- On Monday, November 21, films by four amateur filmmaking teams made it to the "big screen" as the Student Producers class hosted a screening for the Ozarks 48-hour Film Project. When the votes were counted, Team Ramrod was named the first "Ozarks 48-Hour Film Champion [of the World]" for their short film "Assassinception."
"Our genre was history," said Travis Murnan, captain for Team Ramrod, "but to make it a little more fun we made it a history thriller." Using their prop (a typewriter), the character (MMA, or Emma May), and their line of dialog ("This is it! Here we go! Yes! Yes! Yes!"), the team created a film based around the famous duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. However, Assassinception puts its own twist on the well-known story.
"Team Ramrod was pretty creative," said Tanner Holman, who emceed the film screening. "John Wilkes Booth had a time machine, and Aaron Burr was trying to shoot John Wilkes Booth, but ended up shooting Hamilton. It was a dream of President Lincoln; President Lincoln dies, so it was a dream of some American History student -- kind of like the movie 'Inception' with a dream within a dream."
Not only did the film Assassinception receive top marks from the judges, it also was the narrow winner of "Audience Favorite," beating out another film by only a single vote.
Other films shown during the Ozarks 48-hour Film Project screening were:
The Ozarks 48-hour Film Project was organized by seniors Tanner Holman, August Laue, Evan Lipschitz, Patrick Otto, and Neil Thompson, members of Susan Edens' Student Producers class. Inspired by the international 48 Hour Film Project which began in 2001, the Ozarks project began with a drawing where each team entering the competition was randomly given a character, a line of dialog, a prop, and a genre. The teams then had 48 hours to write, film, and edit their movie.
"We did 48-Hour projects in the past but at that time the competitions were limited to those in the RTV major, and then we let students have a full week," said Edens. "What made this competition different was that it was open to the entire campus community AND entrants had to use their personal equipment to shoot and edit their movie."
"I personally was a little 'iffy' about the idea at first," Holman said, "because Susan said the teams weren't going to be allowed to use our equipment. I was like 'Oh man, I don't know if people can do that.' But she was right. Team Ramrod used an iPhone - that's all they used was an iPhone and iMovie. All the teams used their own equipment and their own editing software and it worked out."
The film screening drew in an audience of around 150 people to the university's Rogers Conference Center. "It had started raining," Holman said, "and at 6:45 there were like, two people there. But by 7:05 it was packed. We had three screens down to kind of give some atmosphere and had some music playing -- it worked great!
Holman said that even though the students who organized this event will all graduate soon, he hopes the project will continue. "We want to keep this going," he said. "We hope to get more movies, with more creative ideas. We hope it will get progressively bigger, and become a tradition for the school."
Edens said the films from this first Ozarks 48-hour Film Project will be shown on KUOZ Channel-6 in the upcoming weeks, and will also be posted on the University of the Ozarks' RTV Program facebook page.
Members of the winning teams in the Ozarks 48-hour Film Project pose with their one-of-a-kind awards.