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The Creative Process

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Three directors and a cinematographer. All at different points in our lives, a recent graduate of film school, a graduate student in Mathematics, a barista and nighttime writer/director, and a hospital clerk working noon to eight each day. The connective tissue between us was our undergraduate alma mater and a desire to make films. We all have different styles, different tastes, and different aesthetics, but we wanted to see where this led us. We found the time during Spring break of 2016 to bunker in to a two-floor apartment in Pittsburgh with the hopes of making a documentary and a narrative film. Going into the project, we only discussed technical aspects, such as lighting, room arrangement, sleeping arrangements and schedules. We didn’t want any preproduction, because we wanted to document our creative process. In our modern age, where post-graduate creative life has to occur...

The New Moon Party (Short film)

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The New Moon Party is a short film adapted from T.C. Boyle’s short story of the same name. The story is a satire about a man named George who runs for president under a campaign that promises to build an artificial moon in the sky. Eventually, George wins the American presidency and begins the process of building the satellite in the sky. With public support, his goal is accomplished and the new moon is revealed to the world. However, the people reject the constructed moon because of its bright, pervasive glow. In response to the chaos, the moon is destroyed and George is left feeling deflated as he ends his term having had no impact on the world. Our production is part of MDIA: 4719, a class that produces and shoots a film over the course of a school year. Last weekend, we began principal photography by filming an outside scene in Logan, Ohio. This is a climatic scene where...

Night Turkey- Short Film

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During Fall 2016, my production company and I looked to further expand our filmmaking knowledge by taking on our longest project to this date, a 15 minute Thanksgiving themed comedy piece entitled “Night Turkey.” This project was a 20 page script that I wrote and directed and served as an homage to my favorite director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Hot Fuzz). The equipment we utilized was the Black Magic Cinema Camera, Elation TV 2000 LED Lights, Zeis Lenses, Mafroto Tripod, and their editing facilities. This was my first experience utilizing the Black Magic Cinema Camera and was good experience shooting with a camera that shot so flat. This called for more care and time to be put in post production, but allowed for a beautiful 4K picture quality. The LED lights utilized were also unique as they had warmness/harshness settings and a dimmer,...

My Target

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This documentary follows the life of a hunter in his quest to kill a deer, his prayer, his preparation and his target. There is another world where man and skills are in complete control. Clay Matthews creates and shapes his own environment, he sees beyond the normal spectrum of light into dimensions unthinkable. “It’s a world where anything is possible” as we follow his strategies and skill in hunting with bow and arrow. This documentary will follow Clay Matthews as he prepare to go into the field to hunt, with close focus on his attitude, composure and gears. We will experience his relationship with his tools and how he preps and arranges them for a session. Looking at his style of hunting, which will require a lot of sitting and waiting for a game to kill, we will experience more of his environment and space where he waits and its other creatures. The main idea the film is to...

Fly on the Wall

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So my name is John Kerfoot and I’m a 3rd year grad student in film working on my thesis project – a short titled “Fly on the Wall” and, yes, it is about a fly. This fly, like many flies I would imagine, hates all creatures because so many want to either kill it or eat it. So this dude is pretty pissed off, and it especially doesn’t like humans. All save one, Anna, a girl he sees on the street as she is meeting her Tinder-date who accused her of Catfishing. So the Fly follows them on their date into a restaurant, cockblocking the guy at every chance. Now, a couple fun factoids about flies: they see the world 10x slower than we do (which is why it’s hard to swat a fly). Also, they have a wide but very limited focal range of view – so unless an object is very close to a fly, it’s out focus. So from a filmmaking standpoint I get to do two...

“Starbound”

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Starbound is a sci-fi drama that follows the life of Rick Riley through flashbacks to explain why he’s sitting on the surface of the moon watching the smoldering remains of planet earth and just how he became the last human being. More specifically we see his relationship with Sarah, the girl he fell in love with. Through all the pain and despair of being the last human and losing everything the human condition endures and makes Rick and stronger person. Starbound is basically your not so average love story in space. Our project has been a long time in the making. We began pre-production in April of 2015 when I was brought in as the producer with the sole purpose of budgeting and planning a very ambitious student film at the absolute cheapest without sacrificing any of the quality. It was quite a tall order. I spent my summer researching locations, talent, and equipment and...

The Hunted

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Gender issues have always perplexed me. How what I was permitted or not permitted to do differed from my male peers frustrated me greatly while growing up. Then seeing that divide spread as an adult woman caused me to seek out an explanation, but the rational I was being given I found to be greatly unsatisfying. For years I tried to subvert the system and escape my female limitations in work and social structures, but that produced little result and threatened to alienate me in my various networks. Finally I stubbled upon what I was looking for in feminist literature. It validated my frustrations, help define what I was experiencing and gave me strategy for moving forward. So in my first film at the MFA program at Ohio University, I wanted to tell a story that symbolizes the horrific punishment that females face for deviating from expectations, and sometimes not even for deviating, the...

Advanced Cinema Camera Demonstration

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As a TA of MDIA 4904: Lighting for Film and Video, I was asked by Professor Brian Plow to put a lecture together on cameras. In this class, we teach students the ins and outs of lighting a scene – how to use lighting not only technically but as an emotional tool. While a large part of our job is to set up lighting situations, we also need to understand how that light is being recorded and what is happening to it. That’s why it is imperative for us to understand cameras in a very in-depth sense. The class gathered in RTV’s Studio C, where I asked the students to set up a portrait situation with three lights and one subject sitting in a chair. In front of them sat 3 different cameras: a Canon Rebel t3i, a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and a Blackmagic Pocket Camera. Most students shoot on a Canon t* series DSLR. They’re affordable, extremely versatile and a good...

The Retiree

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This film was working with a budget of about $5,000. It was raised through an IndieGoGo campaign as well as a letter writing campaign to friends and family. Using the Create Space saved us about $1,000 in camera equipment rentals, as we were able to get lenses, LED lights, and a mattebox all through this resource. We had to rent a wider lens for one weekend which we could not get through the Create Space, which totaled to around $100 for a 3 day rental.      ...

Carnivalesque Documentary

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Documentary film making is one of my passions. I’ve always been drawn to “real things” and the non-fictional spectrum of storytelling. I think that’s where authentic moments come to life. Although I have this urge to go out document the world around me, I’ve encountered roadblocks in regards to obtaining necessary gear at Ohio University. Because of the Create_Space I was able to heighten the production on my documentary on Carnivalesque 2015, a DIY music festival that took place the last weekend of March. My goal for shooting the fest included shooting from a bunch of different perspectives. We accomplished this by utilizing the GoPro HERO 3 in interesting places, such as the microphone stand. We also needed decent audio to capture the sound of the bands and the crowds in cramped spaces. We were able to do so with the audio gear that we check out. All in all, our experience with the...

An Act

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I am conducting a creative research with the goal of writing a neo-neo realist feature screenplay hybrid of documentary and fiction: An Act is a feature-length narrative film exploring the aftermath of unsubstantiated accusations of sexual harassment that damaged a career of a young student actor. The fictionalized story is inspired by real life’s events that tore apart an idealistic theatre community and broke the dreams and lives of those involved. The real persons in the incident will work with me closely to help capture the nuances and complexities of the issues surrounding it. I will be utilizing the neo-neo realist model in my writing and directing the film to deliver an authentic portrayal of the characters and events. Stylistically, the film will blend narrative fiction and documentary. I’ve already received the CoFA Creative Research Award (October 2014) for the purpose of...

Rocks

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“Rocks” is a short film in progress, written and directed by OU MFA student Daniel Aguera. It is being filmed in black and white 16mm film. It consists of a nameless character who has created a musical system in which certain rocks represent certain musical notes, and through this system he composes melodies. He kidnaps a blind man and forces him to engage with this intricate system. As times goes on they develop a complicated yet somewhat endearing relationship.    

The priest

By Matt Herbertz

In a world where organized religion has become violently persecuted, an aged priest, Father McNalley, searches for a safe place to start a new church. After a long journey, the priest collapses on the doorstep of a family farm. The family takes the priest in for the night without knowing his true identity. Father McNalley must decide whether or not he should trust the family enough to let them know who he really is. Will the family help the old man continue his ministry or will they hold his faith against him? The Priest is a second year MFA film by Matthew Herbertz and after a successful shoot is now in post production set to be released fall 2015. Through the intense collaboration with fellow peers and faculty The Priest was able to succeed in a Kickstarter campaign helping fund the project. As Matthew moves forward in post production he hopes the story he feels so passionately about...

OU Film Web Team: Summer Interviews

By Natalie Hulla

The Web team for Ohio University Film recently sat down with a handful of graduate and HTC film students to interview them on their summer activities. While some students traveled abroad to teach or work professionally, others gained internship experience and worked on professional TV/film sets. One of our students connected with an Emmy-nominated cinematographer and OU Film alum, George Mooradian, while freelancing in Los Angeles. The Web team, which is a small group of graduate students who manage the program’s website and social media outlets, wanted to showcase these accomplishments and experiences in order to create a highlight reel that will accompany a feature post on our website blog. We used a Canon 5D Mark II from The CREATE_Space to hold formal, sit-down interviews.        

The History of Football: An Odyssey

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“The History of Football: An Odyssey” is one man’s journey to find the roots of the game he loves so very much. Written and created by Media Student/Stand-up Comedian Michael Robenalt and produced and directed by myself (Film student Luke Porst), The History of Football is a five part web series. The series is something of a parody of the “Cosmos” programs of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, but of course, it’s about football rather than the universe. This series is at its roots a parody, a genre that hasn’t had the audience that it used to. By bringing it to a shorter form and made for the web, we hope to find a way to bring this genre to a new audience.      

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