Northeast Community College students compete in film challenge

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Northeast Community College students compete in film challenge

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It was lights, camera, action for a group of Northeast Community College students, who competed in a special film challenge here recently.

The Prairie Grass Film Challenge, hosted by Dordt College, invites participants to create a five- to eight-minute film in only 48 hours. Two teams from Northeast, Hot Keys and Point of View Productions, were emailed information and guidelines for their films on a Thursday at 4 p.m. By that Saturday at 4 p.m., the film needed to be submitted to Dordt College.

From there, the films were sent to judges all over the country. The winners in high school, college and post-college divisions were announced at a ceremony at Dordt College about a month later.

Point of View Productions created “A History Teacher Stuck in History,” a comedy.

Stuck in the 70s teacher leads a peaceful march through the hallways of Northeast. Point of View Productions

Hot Keys’ entry was “The Day in the Life of a Serial Killer,” a mockumentary.

Hot Keys Productions

Director of Photography Seth Johanson sets the shot for a scene with actor Jack Tyson.


Northeast Mass Media Instructor Nancy Sutton-Smith has been an advisor to students participating in the Prairie Grass Film Challenge almost since the contest began, over 10 years ago. Although the two Northeast teams did not take home an award this year, Sutton-Smith said the experience itself is what counts.

“Even when students don’t finish, don’t like their film or have filming problems, they always say it was an incredibly valuable and fun experience,” she said. “Making a film in 48 hours makes you put everything you have learned in media class into hyper-drive. They have to come up with a creative story using the prompts given by the contest, find appropriate filming locations, work with actors and then edit the film as quickly as possible.”

“Even when the results weren’t what they hoped, the fantastic challenge of their skills remains the lasting impression.”

Tiffany Jacobson, Norfolk, a Northeast sophomore majoring in digital cinema, said she also appreciated the bonds she formed with her teammates.

“I’ve done the Prairie Grass Film Challenge for two years now, and there’s always a new challenge that comes your way,” she said. “It’s a great learning experience, but most of all, the memories you make with your friends are unforgettable.”

You can go to this link for the Prairie Grass Film Challenge Watch Films   page, to see all the entries for 2017.

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