On Feb. 8, Southern’s largest film business and management class launched a five-week film production marathon. Through March 24, the 14 students will each produce their own short films. Each short film will be shot all over the Collegedale area, some will feature Southern students in the lead roles and many more will be shot on Southern’s campus.
Some of the planned locations include the Village Market, Plant Services and on-campus housing. Therefore, throughout the next few weeks, students can expect to see film majors, along with other students and members of the community, working with cameras, lights, and other expensive equipment both on and off campus. Each project is unique in its genre and story. This list includes a tear-jerking drama, a coming-of-age high school piece, a romance and an absurdist comedy.
David George, a professor of the film business and management class, said he cannot remember a time when he had to schedule two or three shoots every weekend, but the size of this class has forced him to do so. In fact, at least two projects are scheduled to film every weekend for the five-week period of production.
Though most of the students are aiming to make a five-minute short film, most, if not all of the projects, require multiple full-day shoots to complete. According to George, the general public does not really understand what goes into the content they consume, whether it be a Netflix movie, TV show or any other form of film. He said they don’t realize that 90 minutes of entertainment may take a month and a half to film and another year to edit. “After all,” he said, “when a filmmaker tries to put something on the screen that has quality, it takes time and attention to detail.”
George said, “The process of filmmaking is like inviting someone over for a meal. You start by thinking of who you want to invite, just like when you first develop a film, you think about who it’s for. Then you start putting together a menu, and you figure out what ingredients are needed. You go to the grocery store, and you buy all the ingredients—that’s like production, you’re getting all the visual and sound elements you need. Once you get back from the grocery store, and you’re in the kitchen, that’s the editing room. That’s when it starts smelling good, and you really start to get a sense of what the meal’s going to be. Same with a film. Then the food is prepared, the venue is prepared, and you serve the food to your friends; that’s when people come and see your film. If you’ve never coordinated something like that, you may not understand what it takes to put a film together.”
Michael Moyer, a film production sophomore, finished filming his project the weekend of Feb 8. Michael’s film, entitled “Listen, Lana,” is now entering post-production and should be completed in April. He plans to enter the short in various film festivals including SonScreen, the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ official film festival.
“I love Film Business.” Moyer said, “It’s my favorite class I’m taking this semester and I think that’s because I love producing. I like being able to create a team of talented, creative people and observe them do good work and facilitate that so it can be the best it can be.”
Some of the films made this semester will be featured at the End-of-the-Year Show, which will be held in Collegedale Academy at 7 p.m. on May 2.