36 Hours and a Creative Lens

take36blogBy guest blogger Nick Theodoracatos

This year, for the first time, MPowered Entrepreneurship held a first-of-its-kind weekend long challenge for creative self-starters and filmmakers. Take 36 is a 36-hour film competition in which participants form teams to apply the creative process to filmmaking, creating short films using limited resources. Given only a DSLR camera at the start of the event, students engage in the ideation and execution of a film, less than twelve minutes in length, expressing an idea, opinion, or story they want to share. The event culminated in a screening that showcased the submissions, and each member of the winning team took home a GoPro camera.

The inspiration behind the event was to not only introduce the process of filmmaking to students, but also to teach them the importance of creativity and innovation in the way they produce their films. Given only entry-level camera gear on the first day of the event, participants had the opportunity to test the boundaries of their own creativity. During the weekend, the results of this creative thinking were clear in the films. Groups used wire to hang cameras from roofs, created makeshift dollies using shopping carts, used closed bags to film underwater, attached cameras to skates for moving shots, and integrated many other innovative methods into their filmmaking. At the opening ceremony, Keshav Prasad and Aaron Purcell, two seniors in the Screen Arts and Cultures Department, gave presentations on their experiences as filmmakers and examples of their own innovative processes, including the construction of zip-lines for their cameras and stories of travelling cross-country to find locations to shoot.

Students came together from all disciplines to form teams and produce videos covering a wide range of topics. Before teams were formed, participants also had the chance to pitch the ideas for their films to all other attendees, catalyzing the ideation process and starting conversations on their films’ topics.

Filmmakers Alex Martino, Amanda Swoger, and Phil Wachowiak took home the top prize with their short film “TempurPedic Zone,” a comedy piece. “I worked with a lot of people on my team who had strengths in different areas,” says Martino. “I had a great time and really learned a lot this weekend. I’ll definitely do the film festival again.”

Take 36 helped successfully bring out students’ creativity in digital media, showcasing submissions from all categories of film that were produced in just one weekend. Organizers aim to host the event again next fall.


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