Films showcase student imagination
We all know what happened to Snow White when she bit into the poison apple, but what’s the apple’s story?
And wouldn’t it be great if there really were superheroes—especially ones who come to the rescue when you suffer a broken heart?
And what happens when an alien lands in a 1940s film noir flick?
Welcome to the creative imaginations of Stephens filmmaking students who have explored new worlds in the films they’ve created their senior years.
The shorts—ranging from animation to comedy to documentary—will be showcased during a public screening Saturday, April 6, at Macklanburg Playhouse Theatre on the Stephens College campus. The event—which begins with a reception at 7 p.m. followed by the showing at 7:30 p.m.—is free and open to the public.
Kelli Devon Ross is the imaginative creator of “The Deadliest of Them All,” using animation to tell the backstory of the infamous poison apple.
A graphic design major, Ross sketched the characters and scenes from a “once upon a time” community where green apples were celebrated during an annual festival. One year, a lone red apple grew and was ignored…but not for long.
“It was more challenging than working with people,” Ross said. “Actors figure things out, and know when to try something new and what works. I had to give my characters life and make their every move.”
Not that humans can’t pose challenges for directors, as Emily Damiano discovered when filming her comedy about a heartbroken woman who makes herself a superhero suit to mask a broken heart. When she comes to a jilted friend’s aid, the two team up to become “The Love Fighters.”
Damiano’s project was littered with obstacles. First, a location fell through. Then during attempt to film, a neighboring property owner decided to use his chain saw. Then an actor dropped out.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Damiano said. “I’m very proud to get it finished and that it looks nice.”
Kelcie Mattson’s film—which takes an old-fashioned detective flick to a new level when aliens land—doesn’t look nice. But that’s intentional.
She purposefully used fake props—think tin-foil spaceship against a green screen and obviously strapped-on alien antennas—to poke fun at genre films in “The Mysterious and Altogether Quite Perplexing Case of the Missing Intergalactic Sibling.”
She’s prepared for mixed reviews.
“I know the audience will either think the film is really funny or they just won’t get it,” Mattson said. “Obviously, for some, it’s not going to be their thing, and I understand that…But I do hope they laugh.”
The showcase lineup also includes:
“Still,” a drama by Erika Adair;
“The Wonder Tower,” a documentary by Jacqui Joyce.
“Nature’s Lessons,” a documentary by Wynde Noel;
“Sovereign,” a documentary by Tiffany Paradise;
“Displacement,” a drama by Sky Robinson;
“The First Time,” a documentary by Tenetta Steward.
Although there are several documentaries, subjects will be diverse, said Kerri Yost, associate film professor.
“This is one of the most varied showcases we’ve had,” she said.
The students will show their films to industry experts during a judging event later in April. But some said they’re more nervous about showing their work to a community audience.
“I’m nervous but excited,” Ross said. “I’ve shown bits and pieces of it to students in my graphic design program, and I’m getting positive reviews. It was a positive and fun experience.”