Celluloid Captures one’s inner thoughts

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By Kevin Ritchie

First-year image arts students are getting ready to display their talents to the public in several upcoming exhibitions.

Anorexia, killer socks and gangster photographers are just a few issues floating around in the heads of students.

Film students chose the best of four first-terms short film projects to show the public during the first-year film festival. First-year filmmaker Mark Bethune’s one minute opus is about a couple making out in the back of a car who are later attacked by a gang of thugs. “Some people try to make huge statements,” said Bethune. “And some people just try to have fun.”

Bethune’s untitled film took six hours to shoot on 70.5 metres of film, and five hours to edit the film’s 55 cuts. The budget came to $145, plus the cost of ingredients to make pizza for the stars.

Bethune describes his film as a snippet that might fit into a full length motion picture. Other films take experimental, abstract, documentary and traditional narrative forms. Bethune chose to film a fight scene because the quick cuts posed a challenge.

First-year film student Bob barlen shot his epic about an unruly hitchhiker in colour for twice the cost of a black and white film.

The shortest film in the festival runs 30 seconds and the longest clocks in at three minutes. The show will run about 90 minutes, with the films running back-to-back. The films are all black and white silents except for the one colour film.

Student were given 16mm steel cameras to shoot their films, and they had to buy the film themselves.

“[The festival] is to give students a chance to see their films projected on the big screen,” said Barlen, who is in charge of compiling all the films into one reel and promoting the event.

In another event, first-year image arts students’ “mixed media portrait” will be displayed in a show titled Sections.

“I think people will be quite surprised at the calibre [of the works],” said Alex Alter, who teaches half of the 150 design students.

The students drew names out of a hat and were partnered up to shoot portraits of each other. They then fused painting, photography and digital imaging together to express their partner’s personality quirks. “It also portrayed a bit of themselves as well,” Alter said.
First-year new media student Adam MacDonald was given the task of portraying a classmate who has a love for photography. He used the metaphor of “shooting” and photographed his subject as a gangster. MacDonald layered separate digital images of a camera with the film popped our, and the upside down lens image seamlessly.

MacDonald said he decided to adhere strictly to Alter’s guidelines as opposed to moving off in his own direction. “I think I had to get used to the idea that if I’m going to be working in a commercial industry, I have work under an employer,” he said. “You can still be creative with someone else’s ideas.”

The first-year film festival takes place Thursday, Feb. 17 in room A72 at 7 p.m.

You can catch “Sections” on Friday, Feb. 18 in the Image Arts senior studio from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend both events. Admission is free.

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