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Five Minutes of Film Fame

Members of the production group Cocoa Puffs shoot principle photography for their film "Ship Happens."
Members of the production group Cocoa Puffs shoot principle photography for their film “Ship Happens.”

The Five-Minute Film Challenge was a way for students to come together and express their creativity during their time at sea. Seven different teams produced films in the genres of romance, comedy, thriller, found footage, silent film, music video, and time lapse. As part of the challenge, each group had to incorporate a specific character, place, object, phrase, and cameo into their films. Each piece was shot and edited over the course of five days, and the competition concluded with a screening in front of the shipboard community. While no films went unrecognized, it was Time-Lapse Dream that took home the awards for Best Cinematography and Best Picture.

Best Picture: Time Lapse Dream
(L-R) Ivan Kuek, Adolfo Yanez, and Mike Russo, collect the prize for Best Picture — a stuffed MV Explorer — for their film “Time Lapse Dream.”

The winning movie’s director and lead actor, Adolfo Yanez, was inspired to make this film and nominate this new genre after observing the fast-paced and constantly changing Semester at Sea culture. “A time lapse is the best way to explain a day on the ship…It’s always moving, ” said Yanez. Since the start of the voyage, he captured a time lapse every time the ship pulled out of each port. The beauty and simplicity of that footage helped him develop the concept for Time-Lapse Dream.

His film takes viewers through the halls of the MV Explorer and shows a comprehensive view of life a floating campus. Yanez places his time on the ship in the framework of a dream. With footage of friends, classes, and endless activities, it is easy to understand the connection.

This Five-Minute Film Challenge helped him tell his story and preserve a piece of the Fall 2014 voyage. But each of the students on board, whether they participated in the challenge or not, has their own story to share.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on at all times. It doesn’t matter where you are… It’s a unique atmosphere,” said Yanez.

To watch Time-Lapse Dream, winner of Best Cinematography and Best Picture for the Fall 2014 Voyage, please click below:

Photos by: Joshua Gates Weisberg


  • Life at Sea

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