Hunter College students join in on Campus Movie Fest 2011
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2011 18:04
Imagine being given the opportunity to write, direct, and produce your own film with the same tools that professionals use and going on to compete on the world stage at no charge at all. Since its inception in 2000, Campus Move Fest (CMF) offers that experience to students in several universities and colleges in over thirteen states in America and St. Andrew's University in Scotland.
The rules and provisions are that students from the participating school create a team and are provided with (and responsible for) a Panasonic camcorder, a tripod, a microphone, and a Macbook Pro equipped with Final Cut Studio. The groups have a week to film and edit and submit their short movies that cannot exceed five minutes in length.
CMF representatives and professors from the participating school sit down, judge the films, and pick finalists who will have their short movie screened at their colleges, and choose the winners who will move on to the next round of state-wide competition against other colleges.
Ryan Maslyn, a senior at Hunter College majoring in film, knows how fierce the competition can get beyond the campus round; he was last year's Best Picture winner and moved on to represent Hunter during the regional round.
"Our film moved on to regionals at the SVA center. We quickly realized we had no chance[…], some students from other schools were literally putting thousands of dollars towards there films, renting full professional tracks and jibs, and everything."
This year, Maslyn made it as one of the 16 finalists, along with his fellow producer/ writer Tim Coleman, with the comedic action short film, Tiger Blood.
"Ryan and Tim create the most potent party drink ever concocted. Distilled from the essence of Charlie Sheen […]The pair try to sell the drink to two of the biggest black market dealers in New York City. When the deal goes sour, the Tiger is unleashed," Maslyn said.
Even though Maslyn believes CMF misleads newcomers to think that other competitors aren't investing hard cash in their own professional equipment to shoot their films, he contends they mean well.
"CMF gives students a great opportunity […], really challenges them to see how great they can do with only one week time period," Maslyn said.
This year's Best Picture winner, Monkey Business, directed by Luke Shin, was a big hit with the audience. Featuring a fantastic blend of action sequences in an absurdly comedic reality; "It's a gangster movie, with monkeys," said Assistant Director Peter Redkin, also a film major at Hunter.
He also agreed that CMF calling the endeavor "free" is misleading. However, he said, "I think CMF is a safe little laboratory for early filmmakers or people thinking about becoming filmmakers."
Redkin and his director, along with their crew, suffered through delays, rewrites, and setbacks, much like what happens on real film sets, but the experience has certainly been invaluable for them.
"Everyone else is super excited about going to LA, but I'm a huge skeptic […] but I'm kind of excited to see the promised land. I'm trying to figure out the best way to milk this win for the benefit of everyone involved […] just getting to network with a bunch of film students should be a great experience."
Amira Khan, a double major in economics and film at Hunter, saw her noir thriller All My Loving make it in only as part of the honorable mention montage; she hopes to fare better next year.
"It'll be my last year at Hunter, so why not go out with a bang? The experience of making my own original film from scratch is akin to creating new life for me […] when it's all done, you release it into the world and watch it grow through the feedback of viewers."