May 17, 2016
What do you get when you cross a four-minute time limit, time travel, a fork, a watch and a mobile device? Well, when those ingredients are also combined with the creativity and technical skills of a team Johnson State College videographers, you get short, science-fiction film with a citrus-hued aesthetic called “Orange You Glad,” which took top honors in a recent film competition.
The three-person team of Johnson State College sophomores Kali Covell and Forest Mattern, both of Wilder and majoring in media arts at JSC, and their independent study advisor, JSC Marketing Design & Production Manager Eric Kirk, of Morrisville, decided to participate in the 2016 “48-hour Film Slam sponsored by CATV and White River Indie Films. Kirk had suggested participating in the film slam to Covell and Mattern as the culminating project for their independent study in filmmaking and visual effects.
The competition gives participants just 48 hours to make a short film that abides by an assigned theme and contains a set of assigned elements.
The JSC team had to create a four-minute science fiction film that involved time travel and used at least two of the following objects: a clock, a fork and a mobile device (they ended up using all three). The entire project, from writing, costuming, set design, shooting, editing and adding a soundtrack, had to be completed within the 48-hour time period. The team used the guest suite in the JSC College Apartments complex as their set and production area and got to work. After shooting was completed, “each of us took a scene to edit,” explained Kirk. Then they collaborated on out how to winnow those scenes into a coherent four-minute film.
The result is a lean, quirky love story that won the group the Audience Choice Prize (with a $250 award) and the Best Film Prize (with a $500 award). Cash and accolades weren’t the only takeaway for the students, however. The final film plus some additional documentation of the process earned Covell and Mattern course credits toward their media arts degrees. They plan to launch a multimedia business after graduating and sees this type of high-impact, hands-on learning as crucial to their future success.
“It was awesome to just get in the middle of what we were learning, to immediately apply the skills we learned only weeks before,” said Mattern of the experience.
“It was an intense experience,” agreed Covell. “Good intense — the kind that stretches you, where you come away with more knowledge than a traditional classroom can offer. I’m grateful that JSC allows you these kinds of opportunities. JSC really pushes you to get out there and do.”
You can view the video, as well as links to behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the film, below.