An all-Newman team participated in the Tallgrass Film Festival “Take 36” film race, which took place June 28-30, with their short film “Next of Kin.”
As part of the competition, which is well-known among local filmmakers, 36 teams were given only 36 hours to develop and submit a short film that needed to include certain elements.
Judges determined from the submissions which movies would be showcased at The Orpheum Theatre after the race and receive awards.
Daniel Murphy, web technology specialist, served as the director and director of photography for the Newman team.
When he decided to sign up for the film race, Murphy said he wasn’t doing it for the prize money, but that he was excited to do the film “purely for enjoyment and love of Newman.” Murphy added that the film team included people from his past projects as well as highlighting “new Newman talent.”
The team consisted of Newman staff, faculty, alumni and students with all the writing, production and editing taking place on the Newman campus.
While Murphy has experience with making films, this project required him to take a different approach. He added that in order to have a finished film “within 36 hours, you have to delegate things to other people.”
In addition to the short timeframe, the team had to follow other demands while creating the film. Cameron Carlson, associate professor of education and dean of the School of Education, was one of the team’s screenwriters. He explained they were provided with writing prompts and developed a story from there.
Carlson said the film had to include certain elements. “Dance had to be incorporated. We also considered the unique characteristics of Newman’s shooting location. We had to incorporate a bell pepper and also a statement from a fortune cookie.”
Despite all these challenges, Carlson said the most difficult writing aspect condensing the story to fit the six-minute film length.
Teams in the race varied in skill from professional film studio companies to first-time filmmakers. While Murphy’s movie was not chosen for the showcase, he said he plans to apply this experience to next year’s competition.
“The best way to be a better filmmaker is to go out and make more films,” Murphy said.