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Advanced film class uses state-of-the-art camera for annual project
Senior Staff Writer
Radio, television and film students work on an abundance of projects, whether they’re recording podcasts, working at NTTV or editing their own content. For advanced film students, nearly all of these aspects coalesce, as eight student teams will produce their own 10-minute films.
Every student in the course plays a major role in the production of the film, ranging from director to social media coordinator.
“In the fall, I put up a call for work and I solicit material from students,” said Eugene Martin, assistant professor in the RTVF department. “Then I select the script, but sometimes I don’t like them completely so I ask students to work together.”
The eight groups were given scripts in the fall so they could prepare for the filming that ensues in late February through mid April.
“As their professor, my main goal is for them to learn the process and understand it,” Martin said. “The outcomes are usually pretty wonderful, but for me it’s them learning the process.”
While the project is an annual assignment, teams get a camera upgrade this year as the RTVF department is providing the “Red Scarlet” camera, the same one used to shoot “Flight”, said Rashna Mullick, RTVF senior and her team’s director. The camera costs $30,000.
The Red Scarlet is a digital camera rather than a film-based one, and it allows students to edit much faster than in previous years, Martin said.
“These cameras definitely make you appreciate people who came before the digital movement,” Mullick said. “It’s really neat, and every group is insanely excited about using an industry standard camera.”
Some teams started the filming process last semester selecting areas to shoot, making a website for each film and adapting scripts, said Shelley Jackson, RTVF senior and her team’s social media coordinator.
“We started collaborating and doing pre-production in November,” Jackson said. “It only took me a week to write the original script, but afterwards I had to adapt it with my director.”
Some groups start earlier, as the entire process of selecting a cast can take months, especially when hiring professionals.
“We’re even flying in an actress from Los Angeles,” said Caleb Richardson, RTVF senior and his team’s producer. “We needed to cast someone who could carry the role, which is definitely a physical character.”
Though camera and lab costs are covered by tuition, teams decided to use fundraising websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise money for costumes, catering and other items for the film.
Jackson said the main goal is to produce high-quality films.
“We have gotten Kodak awards in the past,” Jackson said. “After we’re done, we can send these out to festivals, so that’s super good on your resume. That’s way better than a grade.”
The teams are hosting an open casting call from 1-5 p.m. this Saturday in the Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts building, room 282. Films will be screened in the Lyceum on May 11.
Film websites, provided by the class:
The Dark Man, written and directed by Tim Stevens, and produced by Sarah Wagoner, follows a young man who sees his life falling apart in front of him. From shadows of his ruin a shadowy figure bearing an enigmatic time piece emerges. http://thedarkmanfilm.com/
Espejo Cruel (Cruel Mirror), written and directed by Bobby Stevens, and produced by Asha Osborne, chronicles an Argentinian man’s journey to learn functional English in one month’s time, mandated by his boss. http://www.facebook.com/Espejocruel
Good Grief, written and directed by Andy Green, and produced by Leah Chapman, depicts West Texas in 1904, as two brothers journey to deliver their father’s casket to its resting place. Along the way, the younger brainless brother, Ernie, inadvertently messes things up every step of the way. Throughout this accident filled journey, the family’s strength and patience is put to the test as the brothers must overcome obstacle after obstacle.
Love, Jennie, written and directed by Kendall James, and produced by Alex Phillips, is a short film about a love triangle gone wrong. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Love-Jennie/328787090559336