Ohio University

MDIA Students Triumph at Columbus 48-Hour Awards

MDIA Students Triumph at Columbus 48-Hour Awards
Burly Man's crew in the field

This past summer, School of Media Arts & Studies students Collin Black and Joey Caldwell along with four other OHIO students won three awards in the 2019 Columbus 48-Hour Film Project.

During the 48-Hour Film Project, students were tasked with writing, shooting, editing, and producing a film of a specific genre containing a specific character, prop, and line of dialogue in just under two days. With more than 40 submissions, the competition proved difficult. 

Black and Caldwell’s submitted Burly Man—the story of Detective Tillerman, who investigates an array of bodies who have all been mysteriously killed by a paper towel.

“I like to describe Burly Man as a midnight rendezvous with a lover,” Caldwell said. “It starts off sexy, but somewhere in the middle, there’s a shift…We asked, ‘What if the Brawny mascot was murdering people via paper towels?’ and the rest is history. That night, we started working on the prop paper towels. We bought an axe, dressed Garrett like a lumberjack, and took some pictures. It was only when we were in too deep did we realize, ‘Wait… he doesn’t have an axe.’”

When the end of September came and the group of students anticipated the results from the Studio 35 Awards Screening, they were exhilarated to learn that they had not only received one award, but three awards, including Best Film of 2019.

Fortunately, the team’s accolades landed them the opportunity to join hundreds of other writers, actors, and film lovers in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to compete in the 2020 Filmapalooza. Caldwell said he feels privileged for the opportunity: “I’m a few weeks away from traveling to a new city to meet new people. I can’t wait to hear the stories. What brought them here? What are their ambitions? To them, what does it mean to be a filmmaker?”

The five-day festival screens 135 winning 48-hour films from around the world. This includes the announcement of the 2019 48HFP Tour Global Awards, which are selected by a panel of international judges.

The festival includes film screenings, workshops, parties, and networking. Black commented, “This is a life-altering experience. It’s rare to be granted an opportunity like this, especially at such a young age. The Burly Men are beyond excited to travel to Rotterdam and serve as ambassadors to Ohio University, AVW Studios, and to themselves.”

Caldwell and his team wanted to share: “To anyone who’s ever watched one of our films, to anyone who’s ever passed on kind words: you’re the reason we’re here. You’re the reason we’re chasing our dreams. We’ll never forget what you’ve done for us.”