Student Film Recognized at International Film Festival
Student Film Recognized at International Film Festival

by Dave Cranshaw
UNH Today Editor

An aspiring independent filmmaker, Chelsea Rowan ’14 understands the time and dedication that is required to create a film.

“A feature-length movie can take moths, sometimes years, to complete,” said Rowan, who has been part of multiple film productions and has written two short films and several screenplays that she hopes to produce in the future. “Even short films can take month to complete from pre-production through post-production.”

Matt Lumas '14 played the role of Steve Nash in the film Idle Play.

But that didn’t stop her from competing for the third time in the 48 Hour Film Project competition in New Haven this summer. As part of the international contest, Rowan and her team were challenged to write, film and edit a short film in only 48 hours.

Each film must include four elements specified for each competing city. In New Haven, the elements involved a character, a line of dialogue that is provided (“I’d like to see you try.”) and a prop. The group’s genre, which is different for each team, was crime/gangster.

The group filmed the play at a house several of the members rent in East Haven and in the office of their adviser, Paul Falcone, director of instructional and institutional media.

By the end of the weekend, the team created a five-minute-and-15-second film titled Idle Play. For their efforts, they won the top prize for “best use of line” and “best sound directing.” At the end of September, the film was screened at the 8th Annual Independent Television and Film Festival in Dover, Vt.

“The weekend consisted of very little sleep and a high stress level, but we made it to the drop off in time,” said Rowan, the director of the film, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in screenwriting. 

Nicole Caputo ’14, who served as the producer for the film, said her interest in film started in high school. The creative environment fostered by the communication department has fueled her interest in producing and creating her own movies, and the 48 Hour Film Project gave her the opportunity to dive headfirst into the filmmaking process.

“Making a film come together that quickly is the best way to learn about who you are as an artist and what kinds of decisions you make under pressure,” said Caputo.

In addition to writing the film, Matt Lumas ’14 played the main character. The experience, he said, gave him a chance to step out of his comfort zone.

“I generally like to work behind the camera,” he said. “Having this new perspective will help me guide talent in the future and helped me develop a deeper respect for the art of filmmaking.”

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