We come to university to learn, or at least that’s what my dad says when he sees me blogging and shakes his head. It is true that classes impart a lot of useful (or not) information, but it is also true that much of what we learn comes not from lectures or exams, but from frantically preparing for lectures or exams. By half-way through their first year, the average student has mastered the all-nighter, the cram session, and the ability to meet a seemingly-impossible deadline on nothing but determination and Red Bull. We learn these skills to help us learn other things, of course, but it’s also so satisfying when we can apply them to other situations.
Take, for instance, Lost Episode Festival Toronto‘s upcoming 50 Hour Film Competition. A creative contest open to anyone and everyone with a camera and some friends, this local challenge encourages aspiring film-makers (or anyone else interested in winning terrific prizes) to re-create “lost” scenes from famous TV shows, or to make fake advertisements or trailers, all in only 50 hours. Remember those consecutive all-nighters for that econ final? Remember cursing the time and energy spent in learning something you thought could not have any practical application? Well, now you can put at least some of that experience to use.
The competition begins on the night of Friday, May 3, when each team is given a character, a line of dialogue, and a prop to incorporate into making a film. The teams then have only 50 hours to write, shoot, and submit their masterpieces. The entries will be evaluated by the festival’s judges and the winning teams will be awarded cash, prizes, and all the glamour and prestige that comes with winning a film festival. There’s also an audience choice award, for the film-makers who somehow manage to go commercial in under 50 hours. All entries will be screened in the big, beautiful, fully-licensed Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, only a few blocks from campus
To participate, simply sign-up on the festival website here. Participation costs less than a statistics textbook and is, I’ve been told, at least twice as enjoyable. Anyone of any level of skill and experience is welcome to enter, and a team can be of any size. It’s the perfect activity for those, like me, who have only a few weeks between the end of exams and the beginning of summer school to have a little fun. Or a lot of fun. Or 50 hours of fun.