Challenge expands networks

By Yenna Hu, GRFF Intern and GVSU Film student

 I remember one of my first experiences working on a “real” film set, talking with others in the crew, wondering how they got to be involved with the project. Most of the crew had already worked with the director in the past, some others (including myself) were film majors that learned about the project through an email forwarded by our professor . The rest knew about the project because they were friends with or knew someone who’s friends with director or producer. This type of hodgepodge crew is pretty common for a local film production. After all, everyone has to start somewhere, and the people who are going to be there for you when you first start are almost always your friends. The same goes for big time directors as well. Like Steven Spielberg said: “When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around.”


     Making films with friends is definitely fun and enjoyable. Even so, eventually, you'll realize that your best friend since elementary school is not good at holding up a boom mic for an excessive period of time and they know nothing about sound; your chemistry lab partner can’t operate a camera; your sister can’t act; and your finished film, though fun making it, is not as presentable as you wish it to be.

But you love film, and you want to be good at making them, so what do you do? You go to film school. You learn about all the technicality and artistic features of film art. And the best thing is, you meet fellow film students that are just as enthusiastic as you are, and you make friends with them. Now you’re still making films with friends, except for this time, they all know what they’re doing, and even if they’re not good at what they do, you know that they care enough to actually learn and do better next time.

     After you come to know most of the film students in your school, things may start to get a little bit predictable. If you’ve learned anything about creativity, it's that new ideas make the most exciting and unique projects. How do you get new ideas? Meeting new people is always a good way to go. What’s better for you as a filmmaker? Meet other filmmakers that share your compassion and enthusiasm about film art!

Grand Rapids Film Festival's 36-Hour Challenge is a great opportunity for you to meet and network with other talented local filmmakers. This year, after the screening of challenge films, there will be a chance for all the participants to get to know each other during a reception in the Wave Room. After some time for networking, the award winners will be announced. It's the Festival's hope that participants will share thoughts on each other’s work and expand your networks. 

With teams from Grand Valley State University, Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Calvin University, and Cornerstone University... along with several high school and professional teams, the opportunity is here. Learn more about the Challenge in the promo video below. 

Purchase tickets for friends and family to attend the screening here.