The 10th annual 48-Hour Film Project features nine complete films


Story by Nick Erickson, Editor in Chief

In recent years, the city of Eau Claire has carved out its own niche by becoming one of the more artsy towns in Wisconsin.

Every October for the past 10 years, people within the community have had an opportunity to be hands-on with it through the 48-Hour Film Project at UW-Eau Claire.

This year is no different, as Friday night 15 short films will be on display at the Woodland Theater in Davies Center as part of the UAC Film Committee’s 2014-2015 movie series. The event is free to the public with festivities set to kickoff at 7 p.m.

The event is a testament to patience as it is exactly as its title entails, a 48-hour project. Although organizers make the theme public about six months in advance, prompts and dialogue, which every group must put in their respective films, weren’t given out until Friday at 9 p.m., and all participants had until that time on Sunday to make a complete project.

Mike Gehrke, a senior who participated in the 2013 festival, said the key to success is preparation.

“It’s really not bad if you plan ahead,” he said. “The more pre-production stuff you do, the better.”

Robert Mattison, a senior technical supervisor at Learning and Technology Services who started the event 10 years ago when he was back at Community Television, said although only nine groups got a completely finished project to him, he will still show snippets of all 15.

“We’re into this for the sharing of it,” he said.

Every year is a different theme, and with Halloween Friday night, this year’s was about Heroes and Villains. Mattison said people can expect several of the films to have superhero themes to them, although there are a variety of topics.

All in all, he said he has seen the popularity of the event grow, particularly in the last three years when he moved it to on-campus. It used to include mostly all community members, but after a little dry spell in terms of turnout, he said opening it up to a student audience picked it right back up.

“Bringing it here was a great step because it brought a whole bunch of new people into it. And the community people still do it, but now we have people on campus that do it, so we have more participants than we ever have,” he said.

Following the presentations of all the films, a small awards ceremony takes place, which makes the film festival unique compared to all other films the UAC Committee puts on throughout the school year.

Audience members will also be able to learn a little bit about each film at the conclusion of the nine completed ones and highlights of the six other attempts.

Other film contests take place in the spring and summer months in Eau Claire, but this one is the most pressed for time as Mattison said the other two get about a month to complete the project.