By Courtney Meloche, Staff Writer
On Saturday, October 22, students, faculty, family, and friends packed Valley College’s Music Recital Hall to take in an evening of films by Cinema and Media Arts students.
“I’ve been doing them for 19 years,” she said, “but they did it before me.”
The evening kicked off with the “one-minute movies” by the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Cinema 101 classes, followed by pieces from the Spring 2016 Media Arts 101 class. The event was capped off with the more advanced pieces by the Fall 2015 Cinema 123 class.
“We are excited and thrilled to have our students’ work shown to the public,” said Eric J. Swelstad, chair of the Media Arts Department. “We’re happy to provide a venue for them.”
The films fell under a variety of genres—horror, fantasy, action, comedy, and more. Some of the many themes covered included relationship issues, current affairs (the upcoming election, ISIS), LGBT issues, black magic, and even a comedic piece about creative uses for The Los Angeles Times.
“We have 80 films in the program and each of them represents the individual filmmaker and their distinctive point of view,” said Rodriguez. “It’s like a mosaic of themes and characters and stories. We’re lucky to have such a diverse group of students.”
While the students were excited to have their pieces showcased in front of an audience, some went into the screening feeling on edge.
“I had shot some stuff before starting college,” Quirus continued. “I took Cinema 101 with Professor Rodriguez in Fall 2015 and I had the privilege of doing the one-minute movie. Prior to this class I had an idea of what filmmaking was, but the class gave me the tools to grow to be a better filmmaker. I took on a really aggressive shoot. We shot from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. I had about 20 people on my set. It was a lot but I got it done. It was a great experience.”
The films received a positive reaction from the audience at the end of the evening.
“I thought they were really good,” said student Caroline Torres. “A few were funny.”
“It’s fun to watch people make these things themselves,” added Chris Addis, a post-production professional who has attended classes as a guest speaker. “[The films are] more ambitious than when I was in college. These guys have access to green screens, which is cool.”