48 Hours to Victory: Team UNCA Wins Best Picture in 48 Hour Film Project

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48 Hour Film Project team 2017
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They’ve done it again.

For the third time, UNC Asheville’s team of faculty, students, alumni and friends has claimed Best Picture in Asheville’s annual 48 Hour Film Project. This year’s flick, which was written, produced, filmed and edited all in the span of—you guessed it—48 hours, also brought home Best Sound Design, Best Ensemble Acting, an Audience Choice Award and Best Directing for UNC Asheville Senior Lecturer in Mass Communication Anne Slatton.

Formed by Slatton in 2007, Team UNCA is now well versed in the challenge of creating a completely original film in just one weekend. On Friday the team received a set of required elements, along with a genre they must use in their film. Team UNCA received a choice between two genres: a war film, or slapstick. Both genres present unique challenges. So the team decided to do both.

“Slapstick and war I feel are both two very difficult genres to do well,” said Bjorn Goller-Hagood, a drama student who worked as one of the actors on the project. Team UNCA created a film in which a 48 Hour Film Project team goes to war—a very slapstick war—over whether they should create a war film, or a slapstick film.

Photo by Leslie Frempong '17“People kept calling it meta,” Goller-Hagood said. “I really liked the concept. I didn’t like it the night I received the script. I was like, how are we going to pull this off? But it worked really, really well.”

The script was completed late Friday night, and after a few hours of sleep the team was up and filming early Saturday morning. The crew and actors put in a solid 12 hours shooting the film, and then turned their work over to the editors, who toiled away long into Saturday night and Sunday turning the footage into a polished, finished film before the 7:30 p.m. deadline.

“I think it ran as smoothly as I think a 48 Hour can run,” said Matthew Crump, a mass communication major who worked as a PA and location manager on the project. “Which is to say it was complete and utter chaos—but controlled chaos!”

The time constraint puts unique pressure on the filmmaking process—but that’s the point. “It is a challenge,” Goller-Hagood said. “And I enjoy a challenge.”

That challenge is made more manageable—even enjoyable—by teamwork, and by good leadership, Crump said.

“Slatton has so much experience with it, she really knows how to run her ship,” he said. “She’s a good captain. Clearly, because she won best director.”

For Crump, Goller-Hagood and the other members of the team, the 48 Hour Film Project also is a great opportunity to develop their skills and learn more about the filmmaking process.

“For all of the students out there that are wondering, how do you get in touch with people that have the same interests as you as far as film and projects, listen, if you’re willing to put in the hours there are places for you to do it,” Goller-Hagood said. “And the 48 Hour Film Project is one of those places.”

Stooges of War now heads to Paris, France, in March of 2018 for Filmapalooza, where it will be screened in competition against other 48 Hour Film Project city winners from around the world. Bonne chance!