Among the busyness of spring semester on campus, cinema and media arts students have begun casting, filming and editing short films set to premier at this year’s Black Bird Film Festival.
The film team for “The First Day” shot many of the scenes last semester, but were forced to delay further shoots due to COVID-19. This semester, the crew picked up where they left off and recently finished shooting.
Director and producer Jonathan Williams, a junior cinema and media arts major, described the premise of the short film as the Jack and Jill story with a “Groundhog Day” twist.
“I’m going through each scene and breaking down what shots I want to get through the scenes,” Williams said. “I had to go through the script and figure out the story—understand what the mood is and then decide the kind of style that we want to shoot it in.”
Along with the pandemic, weather also became an obstacle for filming. Williams said that some scenes had to be rescheduled because they take place outside and the ground was too muddy from a recent rain. Still, the team has persisted.
Another film entitled “Death’s Client,” directed by Rebecca Gregg and produced by Jacey Crawford, will begin filming soon.
“Death’s Client” focuses on a man who is visited by the grim reaper and tries to escape him.
Sophomore cinema and media arts major Connor Carr, director of photography for “Death’s Client,” explained what his role has been.
“Rebecca and I are working through making a storyboard and then figuring out what sort of lenses, how we want to shoot it and the general style of the film,” said Carr.
The third film, “A Letter,” directed by Thomas Piotrowski and produced by Sophia Eiler, is about a struggling young adult finding out her nephew has died tragically and reminiscing about her day to process her feelings, eventually revealing a dark secret.
The students working on the films are using the opportunities not only for education, but professional experience.
“If we can build the basics of how to work with people here, that’ll get us so much further ahead when we jump into the industry and start working with people,” said Carr.