Students take 2nd at T/F contest
“I carry my rib around with me because nobody believes me.”
And with that quote from Stephens sophomore Rachel Barlow begins “Dem Bones,” a short film by sophomore LeeAnne Lowry and freshman Kirsten Izzett.
And Barlow was right. No one did believe the story during the “Gimme Truth” contest at this year’s True/False Film Festival in Columbia. The contest is a documentary game show that requires a panel of judges to guess whether a two-minute film is true or fictional.
None of the judges guessed “Dem Bones” was a true story after watching Lowry and Izzett’s film. That’s one reason the Stephens duo took 2nd place in the contest that attracts filmmakers of all ages.
Lowry and Izzett decided to enter this year’s Gimme Truth contest after Stephens held a student film showcase in January. Because she began her film studies with theory courses and hadn’t yet made a film, Lowry didn’t have anything to screen at the event. And even though most freshmen don’t screen at the showcase, Izzett was also eager to show off her filmmaking talents.
After the showcase event, the two decided to enter the True/False contest. They spent hours brainstorming ideas until Izzett remembered a woman on campus who shows off a rib bone.
Barlow was injured during a basketball game—a scene cleverly played out in the film using Popsicle stick paper dolls—and forced to have her first rib removed. In the film, Barlow recalls her diagnoses and surgery, showing the location of her injuries using model Vanessa Rogers, a Stephens sophomore. Barlow then proudly declares she’s going to keep the bone forever and even describes the whole ordeal a “good memory.”
Pretty unbelievable, right?
That’s why Izzett thought her story would be good "'Gimme Truth" fodder. “Here’s this cute sorority girl who carries around her rib bone,” she said.
The team had little time to film and edit—the short was due in mid-February.
“We were cutting it close,” Lowry said.While Izzett worked on the creative side—even making a miniature basketball court for her paper doll puppets—Lowry put her technical knowledge to use when it came to lighting and working with the equipment. The two of them worked together to whittle the short down to the required 2 minutes.
“We had 14 minutes of usable footage, so it was really hard,” Izzett said.
Lowry said her three production classes helped the team piece everything together to create a professional film.
For their 2nd place win, the women received coveted passes to next year’s True/False Film Festival. They also received a trophy, which they opted to donate to the film department rather than squabbling over it.
Both are excited about entering the contest again next year. Izzett wouldn’t share details but said she already has an idea for a “Gimme Truth” film next year.
Guess we’ll have to wait to determine whether we believe it or not.