Some students spend their year trapped in the library like cloistered monks.
I’ll admit it: some days I envy those students. I would love to spend more time writing papers and diving into books at the library.
But as a senior cinema production major, it seems my major takes me just about everywhere else.
As soon as I passed my sophomore check I was already working on my senior project: an eight-to-12 minute film.
Junior year I worked with as many seniors as I could, trying to learn the process. We filmed everywhere from airplane hangars to the Columbia state capitol building.
The last four years I’ve been like a knight in training. Senior film looms as the great dragon at the end of the quest.
But to slay this dragon takes an army. I asked all the younger cinema students to come help, and watched in awe as they willingly laid down their free time. Remember that “day of rest” Dr. Pettit announced unexpectedly last semester? My crew filmed over 14 hours that day.
Even though I had nothing to offer them but experience and food, miraculously they kept coming back.
Managing my own schedule was hard enough; coordinating the schedules of a full cast and crew was a nightmare.
But before long I had a band of brothers ready to charge the dragon’s lair.
As a time-travel romance, I knew my film would be unusual. But I never realize this would involve reserving the entire auditorium so that organ students wouldn’t rehearse while we were rolling. This went on several months. To all the organ performance majors on campus, I profusely apologize.
It took us weeks to figure out how to transform a retirement home cafeteria into a fancy restaurant; then our lead actor had pink eye.
One shoot I spent 90 minutes trying to get a 3-year-old to topple a load of laundry. I’m currently struggling with the Wi-Fi as I Skype composers in Ireland, Florida and Spain. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars and worked hundreds of hours, all for an eight-to-12-minute film.
But at the end of the day, it’s so much more than a school project. Hopefully this film will live on for years and even enter festivals.
More importantly, if I do this right, people will see the film and feel something.
For a few minutes I get to change how people see the world. Perhaps, they will walk away slightly changed. I hope so.
Even if they don’t, I know my friends and I will never forget the adventures we went on to make this film.
And when all is said and done, we’ll be itching to go out and film another one.
I take what I said about being a film major back.
Other students can have fun with their research papers and dissertations if that’s what suits them.
If you need me, I’ll be editing my film.