The challenge is simple: three days to capture, create and edit a three-minute film.
Originally called “3 cubed,” the challenge was created in 2009 by Centennial College School of Communications broadcasting instructors Gillian Edwards, Dennis Murphy and Chris Terry. After Dennis died unexpectedly of lung cancer that year, “3 cubed” was renamed The Murphy Challenge.
“It’s an opportunity to work with different people and have that experience,” Edwards said. “Our industry is freelance and you’re always working with new people all the time, so there are skills in that.”
This year, the Murphy Challenge will go beyond the screens of Centennial College and onto those at the first-ever Scarborough Film Festival, which will take place April 23-28.
Students were challenged to make a one-minute film about
Scarborough. Five teams participated, and their films were judged and screened at Centennial College on Feb. 20, 2013.
The festival was created by Sergei Petrov, a Centennial College broadcast and film graduate. Edwards said Centennial’s partnership with the festival is a great opportunity for students who took part in the Murphy Challenge.
“[Petrov] came to us and said….whoever has the best films will be shown before each of the major screenings,” Edwards said. “The balance of the work will be shown on the website, so any student who participated will have exposure.”
One group of first-year students produced their film, “The Scarborough Killer,” in just two hours. They won first place.
Ryan Liu, who directed the winning film, said he was up for the challenge.
“I just enjoy doing film so when this challenge came up I was excited. I wanted to showcase my work,” Liu said.
“Everything that [could have] went wrong, did,” Pham said. “No matter what, you have to pull through and work hard, and eventually your hard work will pay off.”
William Luke Romberg, who was in charge of the movie’s sound, said his group even learned from the massive snowstorm that disrupted their time to shoot.
We’re working with a very large group of creative souls.
— Gillian Edwards
“The learning experience I got out of it was having to get through all the schedule changes with the snowstorm,” Romberg said.
William Maltez, who composed the music that plays throughout “The Scarborough Killer” and plays the killer, considers The Murphy Challenge a valuable experience.
“You have to start somewhere,” Maltez said. “Even the littlest thing, like making a short film … as long as you’re doing what you love and filming, you are off to a great start.”
Some of the prizes awarded at the Murphy Challenge screening included a behind-the-scenes look at a Raptors game, tickets to a live taping of George Stroumboulopoulos and TIFF Lightbox passes.
Edwards always looks forward to seeing what the students produce.
“Sometimes you don’t anticipate something, and something blows you away,” Edwards said. “The audio, or the soundtrack, or the location or the shots. There’s something inevitably, always, because we’re working with a very large group of creative souls.”
The Scarborough Killer was created by Ryan Liu, Levana Pham, William Luke Romberg, William Maltez and Tiffany Tanuan.