Student filmmakers come together as a community in the film program

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

Juniors and seniors from the EWU Film Program worked on putting together individual short films last quarter. This quarter they were able to showcase those films in an intimate film screening with feedback provided by their peers and professors.

The films ranged from a little over a minute to 12 minutes long, with titles consisting of “Heck,” “Dream Sequence,” “Till Death Do Us Part,’ “Between Static” and many more.

Even though the department is small, the students believe that the screening offers an advantage to facilitate a kind of community, which in turn helps them learn to work together and establish a sense of trust.

“Coming into the program where you have a lot of like-minded individuals you can collaborate with has exponentially helped me as an artist. It’s really helped me come to terms with my own strengths and weaknesses,” said senior Sarah Corean.

Like many artists, the filmmakers themselves are their own worst critic.

“It really helps to be around a bunch of friends that help you get out of your own head cause you can be really hard on yourself really fast,” said senior Kendra Strahm. “So being around people and having these screenings… helps a lot because you get the good feedback, not just the bad feedback you’re sitting there giving yourself.”

The program has shown to work for students that are just starting out, with little to no experience in film production.

“I remember the first quarter I just learned so much,” said senior Carly Brown. “It was a short time frame, but I still somehow absorbed a lot, so I was really thankful for that. Then, as the program kept going, not only the professor helme grow a lot, but [so did my] classmates … This last production, I learned a ton by grouping together, getting my crew together, and producing with other people. Also, [I learned by] reaching outside the program. I remember Sarah was pushing me to try asking people outside of the program and that was something I have never done before and I was really nervous about it. Now I would never want to do anything else. It gave me more connections with more people. I’m working on spring production now and I want to work with the same people, which is really cool just seeing that you can grow from this little bubble.”

Even though the junior class has only been in the program for just over a quarter now, they are quickly figuring out how this program can work for them.

“One way the program helps us is really it feels open, so it doesn’t feel like you’re an outcast and it doesn’t feel like if you don’t think you’re talented that you’re not going to make it,” said junior Jorge Valencia. “We always embrace everyone, whatever little talent you think you may or may not have. You won’t get discouraged, basically.”

Collaboration is a key factor in film production, a piece of advice that the seniors stress.

“I would say one of the biggest things is try to work with people that you are better than because then there’s such an opportunity to learn,” said senior Chris Jordan. “Even outside the program.”