Students sacrifice sleep for three minutes of fame

During Geneseo Recognizes Excellence, Achievement & Talent Day on Tuesday April 8, the third annual Insomnia Film Festival screened each of its entries, illustrating the talents of student filmmakers. Students had only 24 hours to construct a three-minute long film that applies three out of 20 given elements. For the 2014 run of the festival, there were 16 short film entrants.

Some films took a comedic approach that questioned some of the aspects of the Geneseo campus. The team Ghostbusters in Seattle questioned what was on the third floor of Sturges Hall. One character said that the third floor was simply home to the history department. Some of the characters had other ideas, however, such as the third floor being home to an underwater basket weaving class.

Team Ve Ninety Us! presented The Banana Man, which questioned the origin of banana man statue in the Union. The film depicted the start of the banana man during his time at Geneseo and his many uses for bananas, like using the fruit to win a game of beer pong.

[Team Name] showcased an a cappella parody called AwwwCapella. The film portrayed several characters brought together in friendship by singing a cappella. This piece humorously depicted drama that arose from the singing, but ends in a culmination of a cappella harmony.

Third place winners Team Goat presented the comedic Googly Eyes. The film personified inanimate objects such as a laptop by applying “googly” eyes to them. The different items then attacked the characters of the film, leaving the audience laughing.

The second place winner, team Duende, took a more serious approach with Ethologus. The film portrays a businessman and the grim way he made it to the top. Audience members watched as James Baxter took over the successful life of another character, with the final scene showing Baxter’s face in the mirror where the other man’s face should have appeared.

The Blue Team created a film called Letters that threw away all dialogue. This film won first place at the festival for its innovative idea and film skill. The film simply depicts a boy writing letters to a girl named Avery in different locations and from different film angles. The boy struggles to find the right words to say in his letters. When he finally does find the words, the film shocks the audience as he leaves a letter on a grave.

A member of The Blue Team, freshman Matthew Heaton, said the most difficult aspect of the competition was the sleep deprivation driving all of the collaborators crazy.

Heaton said that they were all “anxious, antsy and grumpy” after about 28 hours of no sleep. After watching what they had so far, the filmmakers realized that everything was coming along and that taking “a couple of minutes to sit back and see we were making something we could really be proud of was an immensely gratifying experience.”