CMM to view 48-hour films tonight


Writing my posts far away from Champaign-Urbana as I have been these last three years, it’s easy to feel a weird sense of long-distance vertigo as if everyone else in the hometown scheme is running circles and film loops around me. I’d imagine it’s an opposite sensation and an energetic rush for those who participate in the “weekend warrior” challenges that have been popular in film-friendly cities for some time. Teams receive prompts at the top of the two-day window that will force them to demonstrate creativity, ingenuity, and efficiency on the way to completing and submitting their quickie flicks by the deadline, zipping among the masses to get the job done without upsetting the regular flow of life. It’s marathon fun that should call very little attention to itself until after the dust settles 48 hours later.

Then it becomes a different story, of course. For the fifth year running, Champaign Movie Makers has offered their own such challenge to the locals that began on Friday, February 21, when teams picked up the secretive prompts at Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana. Last night, teams had until 7 p.m. sharp to turn in their work. And now, CMM will take a look at the results during their monthly meeting tonight, Monday, February 24, 7 p.m., in Room B of the Robeson Pavilion at the Champaign Public Library. Exhausted contestants and their friends will learn what each team cooked up, some may win awards or prizes, and all will hear good stories about how and why the teams did what they did! In this context, a challenge serves as a learning experience for those who want to better think on their feet while on live sets, especially when it comes to the collaborative aspect of production.

If you’d like an idea about the types of shorts a 48-hour challenge can inspire, visit the CMM YouTube channel for video collections from prior contests. You can also keep up with CMM doings at the linked Facebook page and Facebook group. They have provided networking opportunities, conversation forums, and shared experiences for members since 2008 that also include scene recreation workshops, club films, and the annual Pens to Lens Screenwriting Competition + Gala in tandem with the C-U Film Society and Champaign-Urbana Design Organization. Meetings take place once a month either at the library or in the broadcast studio of WILL-TV at the University of Illinois’ Campbell Hall for Public Telecommunications in Urbana. Queries and suggestions can be sent to Champaign Movie Makers organizer Thomas Nicol at ChampaignMovieMakers [at] gmail [dot] com. Will CMM see you tonight, C-U?

~ Jason Pankoke


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