24 SPEED: 16 years of belonging in 24 hours

Posted on
December 3, 2021

By Reeder Media Center Staff

Since 2005, W&M Libraries annual 24 Speed contest has invited thousands of students and alumni to spend 24 hours together.  This invitation has always been informed and cultivated in a spirit of belonging. 24 Speed is a contest and like all contests it is competitive, but in the last 16 years, it provides students with a spring semester experience that is also creative and collaborative.   

The contest rules are simple: write, shoot and edit a short film in 24 hours. 24 Speed is an exploration (and celebration) of how a cluster of limitations don’t inhibit creativity, but rather how those limitations make creativity possible. Contestants are given the same line of dialogue, the same prop, and a randomly selected genre; from these constraints, students and alumni have produced an amazing variety of work. 

For many undergraduate students, this is their first affirmative, extra-curricular collaboration experience at W&M.  Students are expected to work in teams and this allows them to experiment with different roles required to complete a short film. They could be the writer, the cinematographer, the producer, the actor, the observer, or experiment with all these roles. All student teams have access to the array of production equipment, editing software and staff expertise available in the Reeder Media Center

24 Speed is also an intentional way that W&M Libraries enacts its missions of life-long learning, inclusivity and belonging. For example, curious amateurs are especially encouraged to participate in the contest; this event is for the artist, the scientist, and the undecided. For the last 16 years, 24 Speed has been an official W&M tradition that continues to build expectations and community among students on campus and with alumni.

Alumnus, Ted Hogeman ‘09, reflects: 

“What I love about 24 speed is that it’s a regular kick in the pants to get something made each year, while also something that keeps me connected to the larger William & Mary community. It’s been very satisfying to watch the different teams evolve and grow over the years, and to see the fresh perspective each crop of new students brings. The annual 24 Speed screening is one of the events that consistently brings me back to campus year after year.”

We are excited to announce that the 24 Speed 2022 contest will kick off on April 1 and the screening of the films will take place on the big screen during the W&M Global Film Festival, April 6-10. Until then, you can enjoy past student and alumni 24 Speed films on our YouTube channel; you can also check out the list of past winners HERE.