Late on Friday night, the basement of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) brimmed with activity as students gathered for Flash Films, an event in which they would spend 24 consecutive hours writing, filming, and editing short films. To begin the brainstorming process, writers brought objects that they treasured to The Nest and played prompt games and shared stories about their object to get ideas for their movie.
“That’s the best part of the whole 24-hour process because you come up with ideas while talking to other people. You don’t come with some preconceived notions of how it’s going to go. You come here, you look at people and objects that they brought, and that’s how they come up with something,” said Masho Jmukhadze ’18.
This year, over 60 filmmakers participated in Andover’s fifth annual Flash Films. Hosted by Andover Moviemakers Club (AMC) co-heads, Jmukhadze, Andrew Stern ’19, and Isaiah Lee ’19, the 24-hour challenge started at 8:00 p.m. on Friday. The writers gathered in the basement of the OWHL to brainstorm ideas and write their scripts. The next morning, writers were paired with directors and actors to shoot the films until 2:00 p.m., and a showing was held at 8:00 p.m. in Lower Right of Paresky Commons.
“It is important because it’s a unique thing that the Moviemakers Club has. It’s also a fun opportunity to sleep over somewhere on campus in an academic building in a really unusual setting. There are not many events that let you take film, edit, and screen the movie in 24 hours, so I think that’s pretty cool,” said Jmukhadze.
A variety of students attended the brainstorm session. Returners were able to explore different aspects of the Flash Films experience while newcomers were introduced to the high intensity film event.
Junah Jang ’20, an actress, said, “I did Flash Films last year, and I really liked the fact that Flash Films is not just you doing one thing. As an actor, you don’t know what you’re getting into when you’re signing up for Flash Films. You don’t know the script you’re going to get. The director doesn’t know what script they’re shooting, so it’s just a really cool intersection of three different things that people like to do.”
Max de Saint-Exupery ’20, writer, said, “There are a lot of things I really want to gain. This is my first real hardcore experience with filmmaking and something that I’ve been really looking forward to. This will give me real solid experience in seeing how a filmmaker truly acts, not in a controlled environment, but given a deadline and provided with some simple materials to start off with.”
From an interdisciplinary standpoint, other students looked to bring their experience from theater into filmmaking.
Lesley Tilghman ’19, director and actor, said, “I think my experience with directing [theater] has a lot to do with the nature of people’s relationships and how to develop those not necessarily through words, but through actions and their place on the stage — the difference mainly between directing through theater and directing through film is the lens through which you view it. I [was] excited to be able to have more control over the audience.”