31 day film project

Story by Zack Katz, Copy Editor

Beginning March 1, students and the Eau Claire community will begin their work together in preparation for the University Activities Commission’s 31 Days Film Project. Contestants will submit short film entries based on their assigned “Aesop’s Fables” theme.

By midnight of March 31, entries will be submitted via Youtube for viewing. Contestants must create a film between one and ten minutes in length, as well as include a map and the phrase “As you wish.”

Beyond the few specifications they are given, contestants have generally free reign over the direction of their films. This freedom for creativity and expression is how Rob Mattison, who works at Learning and Technology Services, intended the competition to be run when he created it nine years ago.

“Thirty-one Days is open for everyone — that’s how I intended it to be when I brought it to the university,” Mattison said. “It’s a really good meld between the community and the students.”

Traditionally, 31 Days has run biannually in the spring, as well as in October. Mattison originally designated the project to run around the time of Halloween because of his love for monster and horror films.

Mattison passed the project on to the University Activities Commission after he began working for the university in Learning and Technology Services. This spring, the competition will be coordinated by UAC Films Committee Chair Shannon McInnis, who declined to be interviewed.

Although 31 Days normally expects roughly ten entries, Mattison expects more contestants will be participating this year because of expressed interest as well as promotion.

“We usually hope for ten … we figure if there’s that many groups we’re doing our job,” Mattison said. “I know of a lot of people doing it already, and it’s exciting because they’re not even regulars.”

The project is by no means exclusive to college students — anyone can share their work. In the past, the community has taken advantage of the open nature of 31 days, and has even become a customary event
for some.

“You find it’s the staff and faculty that are excited,” Mattison said. “I started doing this with my kids when they were young … my son was only 8 years old at the time.”

Freshman Luke Bjorle said while he may not have some of the film experience other contestants have, it would still be an interesting experience.

“I don’t know much about making films, but I have taken an art of film class before,” Bjorle said. “It seems like it’d be an exciting thing to go about doing with a group of people.”
With the varieties of ages and talents in participation, Mattison said the amount of involvement keeps things interesting. He also encourages students to apply even after this Friday, considering there is always time to submit before the deadline.