Flash Films Cultivate Creativity and Collaboration Through 24-Hour Challenge

Laughter filled The Nest as Matthew Cline ’19 told a story about the multiple false fire alarm incidents at his dorm. One of his friends pulled the alarm to speed up a fire drill, another called the fire department for a false alarm, and another had an issue microwaving popcorn. All of these incidents resulted  in multiple visits to the dorm from the same fireman in the Andover Fire Department. This story was an example of one attempt to inspire film writers during the initial meeting for Flash Films last Friday.

“Everyone goes around and shares a story that’s either meaningful to them, funny to them, or a story about an object that they brought with them to the meeting. It really helps [writers] to hear these stories because there’s a lot of creative energy flowing. It also serves to bring the group closer together and ensure that everyone is feeling comfortable together before we embark on the process of making a 24-hour film,” said Alex Emerson ’17, co-head of the Andover Moviemakers’ Club (AMC).

This year, over 60 excited filmmakers participated in Andover’s fourth annual Flash Films, hosted by AMC. Starting at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, the writers began the 24-hour challenge by choosing the actors in each of their films, brainstorming ideas, and drafting scripts overnight in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. On Saturday morning, the directors chose their scripts and filmed the scenes with their actors throughout the day. Participants, however, were not limited to the assigned responsibilities of their role; at times, directors would also edit their films, while actors would occasionally edit their lines and share ideas about framing different shots.

“This is my third year doing Flash Films and it has always just been a really, really fun time. Film is such a collaborative project; you have the creative minds who do the writing and the directing, and you have these very technical minds that come into the physical creation and the setup of these films. When you have such an amalgamation of so many people it kind of creates a really special community that I don’t think you can find in a lot of other activities or trades that you can do while you’re at Andover, or anywhere for that matter,” said Jackson Lee ’17, board member of AMC.

In total, 14 films were completed and shown at Kemper at 8:00 p.m. last Saturday night. As part of the Flash Films tradition, Andrew Lin ’17, co-head of AMC, also made a cameo in every one of the films.

“[Flash Films is] really challenging, and I think that’s what keeps us doing it. It’s also a really great way for people to get involved with filmmaking because it’s relatively little time commitment, you make a film within 24 hours, and it can be a lot of fun. I’ve heard from alumni who participated in this event and other events we run, and they’re starting similar clubs at their colleges and where they live, so it’s pretty cool to see how it spreads,” said Emerson.