Film students show off term's work

by Laura Sim | 3/5/13 11:00pm

Tomorrow and Friday, look no further than Loew Auditorium for your fix of weekend entertainment, from black bears on film to captivating animation. As part of their final projects, the film department's Advanced Animation and Introduction to Professional Videomaking classes will present 30-minute screenings of their student-produced works. The film department will unveil a series of animation shorts along with a collaborative music video featuring the Chicago band Terriers, set against idyllic New England winters. The screenings will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. in Loew Auditorium.

Advanced Animation students incorporated a variety of mediums and film techniques into their shorts, from 2D puppet animation to traditional sketches, Luca Molnar '13 said.

"I worked with Alpenglow, a five-piece folk rock band from Burlington, to create my animation," Molnar said, whose film project is accompanied by the song "Solitude," a single from Alpenglow's first EP, "Chapel." Molnar also used "cameraless" animation, a technique where film is directly manipulated to produce texture, color and imagery on 16mm film. Molnar then digitally collaged the film with animated photographs to complete his project.

Film students participating in the final screenings commended the event as an opportunity to see a term's worth of hard work finally pay off.

"Part of what is so great about school [events] in general is being able to meet other people," Alex Stockton '15 said. "I know it sounds simple, but that involves exchanging ideas, learning from each other, doing things together and working collaboratively, so these films are the ideas of these students."

The documentary, "Out of the Den: A Winter with Ben Kilham" will be shown Friday at 7 p.m. in Loew Auditorium. The short film follows Ben Kilham, a Lyme resident who raised orphaned black bear cubs in his home to study their behavior from the eyes of a mother bear.

For film student Rena Sapon-White '14, taking a directing role required her to act both administratively and creatively, she said. Sapon-White found the production process a learning experience because its documentary-style differs from other conventional film projects.

"My role required me to wear a lot of different hats," Sapon-White said. "During pre-production, you're working with producers to smooth out logistics, but once filming begins, you're out in the field with your cinematographer and sound operators and it's all about maintaining a vision."

Sapon-White often felt she was "being hit from every direction with obstacles," she said.

Despite the difficulties of production, students agree that the documentary will provide perspective not only on the animals, but also Kilham's personal goals in his work, sound editor Ben Feeser '13 said.

"We'll treat the audience to some cool visuals of bears," Feeser said. "But the documentary is really about [Kilham] and how he's overcome his struggles, and his life philosophy."

All students are encouraged to attend the screenings.

"You don't have to be a film person to come," Stockton said. "You don't need to have a tremendous amount of time. You can stop by in the evening before starting your homework; this is for anyone and everyone."