Haemi Kim — Staff Writer
It’s 4pm on January 16th, teams from around the country stare at computer screens as a countdown progresses.
Five…four…three…two…one…and they began the Prairie Grass Film Challenge.
The Prairie Grass Film Challenge (PGFC) is an annual film competition based in the Midwest where high schoolers and older from all over the U.S. and Canada are challenged to create a short film in 48 hours.
As a digital media student, this was a great opportunity for me to experience the different fields of the media world, all within 48 hours.
How does this all work?
Within 48 hours, participants come up with a short film that includes several assigned props, lines, and characters. Participants also need to be organized during pre-production so that during the production, everything runs smoothly within the time limit. This includes contacting the actors, doing location scouting, and managing time. During post-production, participants need to fit the whole story together through editing the footage, sometimes while still shooting the rest of the film.
Although this challenge may seem to have the same requirements of a normal video production class, PGFC provides participants the opportunity to take the next step in experiencing film production in the “real world.”
For high school students, this is an opportunity to gain valuable experience and introduce possible career paths. For college students, this is one way to not only understand what it would be like in their future career, but also to apply what they have learned in classes and see improvements in their work. Post-college teams can continue challenging their creativity and enhancing their skills.
Are these challenges only good for people interested in media production?
Personally, I do not think so.
I think PGFC is also a great opportunity for anyone passionate about creating something with other people and making a memory. It is true that there needs to be one or two professionals in order to have a good visual outcome, but having people collaborating from different areas to create great stories results in a rewarding experience.
Now that the competition has ended, the judging has begun. On February 21, the teams will show their films to a larger audience and have a shot at various awards. This gives them the ability to see the community’s reaction to their film and receive constructive criticism. By seeing the competitor’s films, the participants can become better and more innovative filmmakers.