Prairie Grass explores different decades

Eric Rowe- Arts and Entertainment Editor

In life, it takes skill to fry the perfect egg. In the Prairie Grass Film Challenge (PGFC), it takes four tries, giving up and changing the script to require scrambled eggs, as junior Ben Kuiper and his team learned.

During this year’s Prairie Grass Film Challenge, Dordt’s production company Prairie Grass Productions challenged high schoolers, college students and post-college to create an original short film in the span of 48 hours. The PGFC, in its 11th year, took place from Jan. 5-7, Thursday to Saturday, and the competition asked each team to use a different decade between the 50s and 80s as its special theme.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, teams received their assigned theme and the list of requirements that must be included in each film. Kuiper, a six-time Prairie Grass participant, outlined the general schedule that many teams try to maintain to in order to finish on time…

Take one to two hours to develop a concept.

Write the script that night.

Friday is for filming.

After filming, “edit through the night until you’re done,” Kuiper said.

This year, Kuiper finished the shoot at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and finished editing at 10 a.m.

Nate Muyskens, who participated in the Prairie Grass competition twice in high school, as well as this year, believes that creating the “atmosphere of a different decade” through props and costumes is a unique challenge.

In his film, Aaron Radtke found the perfect 70s-style room in the music building. Because of its rather noisy location, Radtke had to personally ask students to practice at different times in order to protect his sound quality for the good of Prairie Grass.

Freshman Emi Stewart, who won Best of Show in the high school category last year, debunked some common Prairie Grass myths.

“We do sleep. You find unique times to sleep,” Stewart said. “I slept in class and that’s it.”

The PGFC is not only an important opportunity for students to exercise creativity on a deadline. The competition also serves to promote Dordt’s digital media program. In fact, Stewart first heard about Dordt when she participated in Prairie Grass as a senior in high school.

The 2017 Prairie Grass film challenge entries will be presented on the evening of Feb. 17. After the showing of each film, the best in high school, college, post-college and best overall will be awarded at the following ceremony.

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