‘Last year, my team drove up to San Francisco to film,’ one member of Team Anteater Student Television enthusiastically said when asked about previous experience with the UC Irvine Computer Store’s Annual 24-Hour Mad Film Dash. I remember smiling to show that I admired that sort of dedication but also secretly thinking, ‘What in the world did I get myself into?’
It was about 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 when I met up with Team ASTV, which was comprised of second-year biological sciences major Andrew Luu, second-year film and media studies major Phillip Woo, second-year film and media studies major Jonathan Iwata, fourth-year film and media studies major Herbert Castillano and fourth-year criminology, law and society major Chase Landigin.
The pleasantly neurotic team chatted about possible story ideas as we headed toward the Arts Amphitheatre, the headquarters of the Mad Film Dash. There was discussion about whether the team would allocate time to sleep and if it would look impressive to film the entire short movie in one shot. When we arrived, a diverse group of students milled about in the dark, preparing themselves for the long hours ahead; some smoked cigarettes, others drank Red Bulls and still others checked equipment.
Finally, the registration process commenced amid the whoops and whistles of the crowd. At midnight, the contest officially began, and the teams, no longer able to contain their anxiousness to get started, exploded immediately into separate directions. One woman was apparently so excited that she reversed her car into one of the campus golf carts.
ASTV, along with a couple of other groups, stuck around to claim stockpiles of free SoBe drinks before heading for the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru. Armed with an assortment of oily fast food, we arrived at a study room in Vista del Campo Norte, where the team began to brainstorm.
Before long, both of the white boards in the room were filled with Xs and Ys, even some Zs and AAs. It was some of the most bizarre and complicated brainstorming I had ever seen. At one point, even Luu got lost, telling Iwata, ‘I can’t read half the shit you just wrote on the board.’
Amid discussions about mise-en-sc