It’s traditionally been the domain of Ara’s broadcasting students, but this year Art & Design students are embracing the HP48hours challenge. Four teams from the department will join the event this weekend, 11-13 May, in the frenetic quest to write, shoot and edit a short film in just 48 hours.
Ara is getting behind the A&D teams, providing access to editing and post production facilities in D Block, providing parity with broadcasting students who have permission to use New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) facilities over the weekend.
Members of the Ara All Stars team hard at work
NZBS students have done well in the event in the past with teams combining their formidable digital production skills to reach the regional finals. A&D teams are taking a collaborative, multi-skilled approach, combining different skill sets of creativity, artistry and technical expertise - and more curiosity than competitiveness.
Elijah and Tamar Lopez are third year students, from the Philippines and Taranaki respectively, studying the Bachelor of Design specialising in motion design. As a married couple they are used to studying and working together, but will work in a team of nine other fellow students for HP48hours.
“It is fun making films, I’ve made a couple this year,” Tamar says. “But it is hard to get good actors, we’re not confident actors.”
Fortunately, one of the teammates knows someone from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art at Ara (NASDA). “So we have one actor,” Elijah says. “We’re going to do some acting too; it’s going to be interesting,” Tamar adds.
Tamar is in the scriptwriting crew of three working with three storyboarders, who will have to work fast when the genre is revealed on Friday (and agree on the story direction). She will also help with acting, lighting and other technical support, while Elijah is doing some camera work and playing to his strength of motion graphics for the introduction to the film.
So far, so good.
Elijah is quietly confident. “It’s good, it’s a challenge. Because we’re artists, we are good at adapting I think.”
“Collaboration is very different when everyone has different art styles, but luckily this is filming so we should be alright,” Tamar says.
In the least, the event will make a great story as the couple go into their careers next year – Elijah is focusing on further training to become a secondary school teacher and Tamar wants to write and illustrate books for young adults. She has four books underway already.
Alisha Bishop, also a final year Motion Graphic major, will project manage her team. She is not a first-timer and perhaps that is why her editors are already planning to pull an all-nighter on Saturday.
“I’ve done the challenge in the past in high school and I thought it would be good to get a team together and for professional practice experience. It was really fun and a really good weekend, especially if you do it with friends.”
Alisha thinks the A&D teams may have one advantage. “We learn a lot of editing tricks that are used professionally, and we do a little filming, but we mostly specialise in special effects, which other teams might not have. I feel confident with our team; everyone is really talented so not too many worries, as long as we all have fun.”
The event might even facilitate future work contacts as Alisha is planning to go freelance next year, attracted by the creativity and freedom of motion graphics and animation.
Good luck to ALL the Ara teams!