Bob Jones University’s cinema department will host the annual senior cinema movie premiere April 30 in Stratton Hall.
The event will feature six films produced by six senior cinema production majors: Ryan Holmes, Craig Vietti, Rachel Madeira, Andrew Uibel, Danielle Wunker and John Reese.
The films, which range from eight to 12 minutes in length, are the end result of hundreds of hours of work.
“It’s really a two-year process for this final project,” said Sharyn Roberston, the head of the cinema department.
Work on the film begins during their junior year when the cinema production majors start writing their scripts and recruiting actors.
During the first semester of senior year, the many hours of recording begin.
Finally, the seniors spend their second semester editing and polishing their filmed material to create the movies they will be presenting to the student body.
The project may not officially start until senior year, but for most cinema production majors, senior projects influence most of their time here at BJU.
“We’ve been preparing for this for the last four years,” Ryan Holmes said.
Students enter the major already thinking ahead to their own senior film, so when the time finally comes for them to begin their work, they’re excited and ready to go.
Students spanning all classifications within the cinema major have the opportunity to help each other with the senior film project.
Junior cinema major Brian French, who is acting as the director of photography for Rachel Madeira’s film, said, “From freshman year on, we’re always encouraged to work on [other people’s] senior projects.”
French added, “That turns into a lot of hands-on experience.”
Students aren’t the only ones working on these projects. In addition, the seniors have all the cinema professors to help them perfect their cinematic creations.
Professor Christopher Zydowicz, affectionately called Mr. Z, acts as the producer for all the senior films, guiding the students through their projects as they learn the struggles of film production.
Speaking of Zydowicz, Holmes said, “He [is] the perfect teacher and producer for all these films.”
Zydowicz encourages and guides the seniors as they work, but he also pushes them to do their best.
“He demands excellence,” Holmes said.
Zydowicz’s high expectations align with the cinema department’s goal of developing skilled artists who can go out and minister with their abilities.
“These senior projects go out to represent the University and the accomplishment of their senior year,” Zydowicz said.
He went on to say, “We’re sharing this common experience with one another, but [these films are] going off into film festivals and winning awards and being seen and spreading the Gospel that way.”
So take an hour or so from your busy night of studying before finals to see the work that this year’s seniors have put into their final projects.
The movies are set to play starting at 7 p.m. on April 30.
Tickets are $6 and can be purchased in the dining common lobby, at Programs and Productions, and at bju.universitytickets.com
Proceeds help fund the department and future senior cinema majors in making films to present to the student body.