I Made a Film In a Week for Campus Movie Fest

Have you ever wanted to make your own short film? Well, Campus Movie Fest aims to bring that experience to college students all over the country. This movement, started by four students at Emory University back in 2001, has turned into a nationwide event that wants students of all walks of life to be filmmakers.

The rules are simple:

1. You must be a currently enrolled student to make a film.

2. The film cannot be more than 5 minutes long.

3. Shooting and editing must be done within the 7-day time frame.

Hold up—did I say seven days?! Yep! The catch to a free equipment movie festival is that you must shoot and edit the whole thing in a week. I know you must be thinking what I did when I first heard this: seven days is not nearly long enough to make a film especially when the rest of your life doesn’t stop happening.

This small time frame really freaked me out my freshman year, so I convinced myself not to participate. This year, though, I felt inspired to make a film and wouldn’t let my fears get in my way. I decided a week before the launch of the festival to participate and almost had a complete freakout in the first 24 hours.

Luckily, you're allowed to do all the pre-production for your film that you want before the official launch so I figured out a story, found some crew and actors, and locations that do not require permission or money to film at. The week was insane and full of lots of ups and, of course, the last minute downs that come from nowhere. By some miracle, I got my film together for shooting and was all ready for the seven days to start.

As I mentioned earlier, Campus Movie Fest offers free equipment to participants that you can get the first day of the week of filmmaking. I stood in line for two hours to get a camcorder (that came with the wrong charger), headphones, and a laptop. Now besides the camera, I was very grateful to get what I did, but still disappointed that I wasn’t early enough to get some of the good stuff they have. I do own some of my own pieces of equipment that I ended up using, so missing out didn’t completely derail my film.

Filming took three days, five locations and many pizzas, but I got done on schedule for editing. In all, I edited for almost 15 hours for a film that is only 3 ½ minutes, which is insane. Some true magic happened and I made a short film in seven days without even a week of planning. My film has now been submitted into the festival with all the other films made by fellow Knights.

If you're wondering how you'll be able to see all these magical films from not only UCF but many other universities around the country, check out the Campus Movie Festival website! You can learn even more about this event and all the amazing awards you could get, including a possible trip to the Cannes Film Festival in France.

If you missed out this year, don't worry—there will be a premiere February 21 at the Pegasus Ballroom where you can walk the red carpet and watch the top 16 films from UCF! And stayed tuned for next spring when this festival makes its way back to Orlando.

Images: 1, 2, 3