Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Student filmmakers host auditions


Mary Kearney, senior media studies major and Emily Pierce, senior media and communications major look over paperwork to learn more about the people auditioning.
Sam Hill | The Free Press
Mary Kearney, senior media studies major and Emily Pierce, senior media and communications major look over paperwork to learn more about the people auditioning.

Posted on March 23, 2015 in Arts & Culture
By Krysteana Scribner

Last week, student filmmaker’s set out to cast roles for their films, taking the first step in the process of their hort movie creation. This film project is for an Advanced Field Video Production class, where USM students majoring in media or communications get the chance to cast, direct and film their own movies.

These 3 films, titled Red Rum, Captain Hook and Disruption had students from all around campus walking in for auditions. Upon arrival, they were handed scripts and given little time to memorize anything on the sheet. Associate professor of media studies David Pearson said that this stress of being put on the spot actually allows everyone to have an equal chance at getting a part.

“The cast members play such an important part in making these films successful, but the class itself is really about film directing,” said Pearson. “How you work with actors will determine where the dramatic beats are in a script.”

For one of the short films Captain Hook, 4 students sat together in a room prepared to meet their next auditioner. Sophomore communications major Matthew Donovan said the most important part of the process is casting members.

“We’re looking for people who look the part as well as good actors,” said Donovan. “This is going to be a film, not a theatre production. So we’re looking for people who are more subtle on camera and will transfer well in film.”

Junior media studies major Brad Willette, who was also in the group explained that the script they chose was interesting because it left a lot of room for personal interpretation. Sitting next to him, senior media production major Beverly Youngberg explained that they chose this film simply because it has a great set of characters and a great setting to work with. Junior media studies major and final group member Devonshire Dennett said that filming outside  at night will provide challenges for the whole team.

“The night shoot is going to be the most difficult. We’ve never shot anything in the dark in all three advances classes,” said Dennett. “It’s definitely a challenge but it’s a way to learn something new and challenge us in a way that will benefit us in the future.”

The other two films, Red Rum and Captain Hook, were also self chosen films that appealed to the budding film producers. Senior media studies major Mary Kearney, who is filming Red Rum with her classmates Emily Pierce and Grace Waldron, said that a lot goes into making a movie besides the filming.

“The audio has to be clear and we need to have clear images for our film,” said Kearney. “Everything has to make sense in the last copy of our work too.”

Senior theatre major Alyssa Rojecki, who auditioned for the films Captain Hook and Red Rum, explained that she auditioned simply for the learning experience.

“I did this last year and had a lot of fun doing it,” said Rojecki. “I mostly do theatre performances, but I am trying to do more film acting to build my resume and hopefully move on to New York City after graduation.”

Nat Ives, Manager of the communications and media studies production center, explained that this is the 15th year they’ve been doing this and that every year students love participating in both the acting and film production crew aspect.

Dennett explained that the after the showing of all the films on May 6 in the Talbot Auditorium, her group is producing the film Captain Hook would like to enter their film in festivals.

“There have been some competitions and films I’ve found online and that is definitely a venue we want to look into to establish our resumes,” said Dennett. “I think we really would like to give our Professor Pearson and Nat Ives a huge thank you when we send it out because they really gave us an amazing challenge.”

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