By Martin Hoffmann
— During the UCSRN tournament on Saturday, Apr. 18, the University Colleges competed in a creative challenge that was all about time pressure. The teams were given two days to script, shoot, and edit a short film of a given genre. With a gender-bent western, Erasmus University College (EUC) was deemed the best of all six films. AUC scored above average with a colorful romantic comedy.
The genres, props, and lines were revealed to the teams on Thursday, and the students were hard-pressed to develop a story around the requirements that included the use of a specific prop and line of dialogue.
“We made a list of things in romantic comedies like true love, witty jokes, a fast pace, and polar opposites,” said Lisanne Bosch, an AUC team member.
They were to incorporate an Albert Heijn bonus card, and the line “I know you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen” from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The filmmakers completed a movie that worked well with its references, including a long sequence of pink-filtered romance that featured AUC’s mascot, AUCharizard.
AUC’s team used its line in reference to a WiFi connection, but the real connection in the film was more romantic and used the bonus card. It made the characters fall in love when touching it, also allowing for romance between two male characters.
Because the time frame of the projects was deliberately limited, the experience was demanding for the competitors and not as straightforwardly structured as other film productions. For example, the AUC team had to rewrite the script while already shooting, Bosch said.
Koen Wies, a member of the winning EUC team, said that they had only four hours of sleep on the first day of production.
EUC’s film had to be a western, make use of an umbrella, and feature a line from Donnie Darko: “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.”
The film featured male and female cowboys in conflict about the right color of the mini umbrellas in their drinks, which they used as a device to give the film a playful statement dressed in a clash between pink and yellow.
“We wanted a serious movie, and at the same time it should be funny and about equality and color,” Wies said. He described the film’s take on the genre as a “modern day cowboy look.”
Even though Wies said that the cast that included women was “born out of necessity,” it introduced a comment on equality.
Both the AUC and EUC teams used their tropes and genres consciously, and gave them a new touch. Ultimately, the jury deemed EUC’s pink take on an established genre more successful, granting them the full score in this challenge.