It was weekend homework and an all-nighter in one. But the four Sultana High School seniors whose film has been entered into Apple's online Insomnia Film Festival aren't complaining.

"We came in one morning and [teacher Shawn Brown] gave us the whole packet" on the Insomnia Film Festival, said Kevin Chacon, one of Brown's Advanced Video Production students.

The Insomnia Film Festival is an annual contest held by Apple for students in high school and college. Teams must create a three-minute film within 24 hours, using three or more elements of a list of 10 required elements that Apple only announces on the morning of the competition.

"Basically, we got all our props and stuff, the day of the thing. We all went our separate ways and tried to find the best genre or script or come up with," said David Pacileo.

Within three hours, they had their script, using a birdcage, dream sequence and park bench from the list of required elements.

"The film is called 'Alone with Someone Alone,'" Chacon said, "And it's basically about the main character, how he deals with the loss of his wife after they're in a brutal accident."

The entire production was a mad dash, from 6 a.m. on Saturday, October 13, through 6 a.m. the next morning.

"We actually made it with about 15 minutes to spare," Chacon said.

"We drank a lot of 5 Hour Energy drinks," said Russell Rosenwirth, who intends to study film at Palomar College after graduation. "Other than that, we had a big breakfast."

"The whole 24 hours, it was really, really cool," said Santos Macias. "The night before I had a football game, so I was a little tired.

Macias is a 2nd string center and defensive tackle for the Sultans. The pressure involved in being part of one of the Victor Valley's best athletic programs might have helped him through the 24-hour crunch mode, he said.

"I think it did help a lot."

The idea for the class project, in a way, wasn't Brown's idea at all, but one of his students'.

"One of the kids said 'I would really like to do a film,'" he said. Brown's video production class normally does weekly newscasts.

When he heard about the Insomnia Film Festival, he knew it would be a good challenge for his advanced students.

"This just happened to fall in my lap two weeks later."

"I had an idea of what to expect," Chacon said, "But I didn't expect it to be that much effort."

"Having to deal with people for 24 hours straight, [and] having to deal with the general public when we were dealing with public spaces," were among the hardest part of the film's production, Rosenwirth said.

"I think they did a good job," Brown said. "The 24 hours, it's insane, to pull off the creative shots, instead of just doing one take."

To give themselves more options, the students brought multiple cameras to each location, shooting each scene so they could avoid having to reshoot scenes later on.

"Everyone was kind of comfortable, I was the only one there freaking out there," Pacileo said. "I'd rather be safe. I'm kind of conservative."

"It really does get pretty stressful," Macias said, "Wondering if you're going to get it done in time."

"This was the best experience I ever had in my life," Pacileo said.

More than 3,000 entries were submitted to this year's Insomnia Film Festival. Visitors to Apple's Web site can vote for their favorites. Hollywood directors will evaluate the top 25 films and the team that created the winning film will win top of the line Apple laptop computer loaded with media creation software.

More information about "Alone with Someone Alone" can be found here.

The full version of the film can be found here. (Link updated 10/22/07.)

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.