Students Make Films at Annual Flash Films Event

While most students on campus spent last Friday night catching up on sleep, members of Andover MovieMakers Club gathered in the Underwood Room with sleeping bags, pillows, and snacks as part of Flash Films. At Flash Films, which is hosted annually by MovieMakers, students write, direct, shoot, and edit a short film within the span of 24 hours.

“The idea is that it is eight-eight-eight. At 8:00 p.m., the writers start writing, and they write until 8:00 p.m. in the morning. Then the directors show up and they pick scripts that people have written. Then the actors show up and film until around noon or 1:00 p.m. At around 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon, you have to submit your movie to a flash drive, and then that night, at 8:00 p.m. we screen the movies,” said Board Member Ina Megali ’20.

The event kicked off with three large groups spread around Underwood. With pizza in hand, participants sat in a circle and described personal experiences that they had encountered on campus to generate ideas and learn about the other students. According to Co-Head Harrison Ringel ’19, they hope for students to start thinking about how to incorporate their own stories into their films. 

“For the brainstorming process… we just start talking because we don’t know what to write about, and somehow make a joke, and it just clicks,” said Ringel.

According to participant Cameron Kang ’21, for most participants, Flash Films is more than just a creative outlet, as it also lets them bond with other students interested in filmmaking. Kang decided to take part in this year’s Flash Films because she was able to form connections with her group members at last year’s event, despite not having any prior experience in making movies.

“Coming here, it is about the movie you make, but, more importantly, it is about the experience and having fun… This is a great bonding experience because you spend an entire night with a group of people that you might not know and end up creating lots of memories,” said Kang.

Ringel encourages students to participate in Flash Films even if they do not know what to create or how to do it.

“A lot of people come in not knowing how to do it; they learn how it on the fly and do it on the fly… For someone that is too nervous to participate, just do it. No one here knows what they are doing, so there’s nothing to lose,” said Ringel.

As a part of the special Flash Films tradition, one Co-Head of MovieMakers needs to make a cameo in every film made. This year, Ringel appeared in each film, acting as a house counselor, admissions officer, student, and more.

“[The Co-Heads] will travel around campus throughout the day and try to find different groups that are making films. As soon as the co-head shows up, the group has to find a creative way to incorporate them into the narrative,” said Co-Head Isaiah Lee ’19.

According to Co-Head Andrew Stern ’19, the experience of creating ideas and putting them into film is what makes Flash Films so special.

Stern said, “Even when you have very little time and very little sleep,  you can still make something fun and worth remembering. Even if it’s not perfect.”

Editor’s Note: Isaiah Lee was a Managing Digital Editor for The Phillipian, Vol. CXLI.