Pictured are members of Team Dreamland, who participated in the 48-Hour Film Project in Cleveland.

Courtesy | Krishna Choppara

Rising Purdue University freshman and Olentangy Liberty alumnus Krishna Choppara and a group of Kent State University alumni — Reilly Schrock, Madison Ledyard-King, Glenn Robinson and Srikar Bellana — called Team Dreamland, participated and won various awards and nominations for their seven-minute film, “One Moment,” at the 48-Hour Film Project in Cleveland.

The 48-Hour Film Project is a global competition where teams create a 4 to 7-minute film within 48 hours. The competition has events in over 100 cities, such as Cleveland, London, Cape Town, Paris and Shanghai. During this year’s 48-Hour Film project in Cleveland starting on July 29, over 30 teams registered. On Team Dreamland, Schrock and Ledyard-King were the directors. Robinson was the cinematographer and camera guy, and Choppara and Bellana were the actors. Additionally, they all were writers of the script.

“The 48-hour Film Project was like a moment in the flow,” Bellana said. “Due to the short deadline, you have to be resourceful, cooperative, and creative. I say a moment in the flow because for a group to get this done, because making a short film is a lot harder than it seems, you have to get into that zone, that flow state, where you are truly free creatively with your peers, or being able to ‘radiate’ as a professor of mine says.”

Robinson added, “It was stressful, but each moment for me was fun. I always enjoy working on a set, especially behind a camera.”

“The contest is very intense because of the sheer amount of talented individuals that partake in it,” Choppara said. “It was my first short film experience. I had a fantastic time because I was given the opportunity to provide ideas for the script, shots, actions and edits. I personally entered the contest because I thought it was a great opportunity, and my friend/co-Star Srikar Bellana recommended that I do it with him.”

The film prompt was that all teams had to use the same prop, line and character.

“The teams are each given a specific genre to make their film in, and the groups are given a mandatory character, a mandatory prop, and a mandatory line that needs to be included in the short film,” Choppara said.

Bellana added, “For this one, we all had to include an orange cone, the line “Hold on, let me ask you something.” and the character Dylan or Diane Bobslaw as the appliance repair person. On top of that, each group chose a genre to work with, and our group got the choice of school film or sci-fi. We chose sci-fi not just because it sounded more interesting but because we had no idea what school film entailed. We all came up with ideas for a film, and we ended up combining several members’ ideas and created ‘One Moment.’”

With the short deadline of two days, the team struggled with time management and balancing writing, filming and editing. Bellana described the major struggle as time itself as the team came close to the 48-hour deadline. Robinson added that he slept about 6-7 hours throughout the two days. In addition, the team was all sleep deprived and had to drive from Kent to Mentor constantly.

“It was non-stop work for the whole 48 hours,” Choppara said. “For the first night, I got around 1 hour of sleep because of the sheer amount of planning and writing we had to do as a team. Filming included driving back and forth between different locations. In addition, it was exhausting having to get different props and items from different locations. We stayed at a record shop for around 5 hours to wrap up day one of filming, and then we spent the following morning filming. The remaining time was spent editing, which was fun because we all had a chance to pitch in to add edits and cool effects.”

As a reward for the team’s sacrifice of sleep, Choppara received a nomination for best actor, the team won best writing, and got third best movie overall.

With their success at the 48-Hour Film Project, the team hopes viewers see the hard work and time spent on the film. Bellana specified, “My biggest hope for the film is that people see it and appreciate it as we do. When we saw the final product, the reactions were different, but all were mainly positive. After watching it, we knew that we had made something beautiful and worthwhile, and I hope the public sees that.”

Robinson added, “I hope people see the hard work that went into it. I’m not one for competition and didn’t hope to win anything, but rather practice and show that we have the skills we say we do. I think the final product is proof of that.”

“I wanted to see this short film go as far as possible, but more importantly, I wanted to create an unmistakably human film,” Choppara said. “One of the biggest things in modern-day filmmaking that tend to be missing is the heart and soul of the film, and we aimed to create something unique but also very personal and emotional. I believe we succeeded.”

The short film is being submitted to various film festivals and will be released on YouTube soon.

This article was written by William Wang, an Olentangy Liberty High School student and president and founder of the Powell Youth Council, which is a 15-student-governed nonprofit organization recognized and partnered with the Powell government. Powell Youth Council’s purpose is to give a voice and power to the youth of Powell in local decisions and projects, show how local leaders create projects and decisions, and motivate the youth to help their community.