Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students showcase filmmaking skills at MovieFest

The 2014 Campus MovieFest finale filled the Ferguson Center Theater Friday as students, faculty and families filed in to watch the top student films produced during the annual competition.

Out of 40 films, 16 were screened for the audience. Of those 16, three films – “Glimpse,” “Weider ‘Zam” and “Check, Mate” – went home with the top awards of Best Drama, Best Picture and Best Comedy, respectively, with “Heads or Tails” taking home the award for Best Cinematography. David Kilgo won Best Actor for “Glimpse,” and Elizabeth Perkinson won Best Actress for “Royal.” John Wachs was awarded the Warrior Award for his film “Cut.”

(See also “Student film wins top awards at Campus MovieFest.”)

One thing the winning films shared in common with the rest is a limited budget with which to work. According to the Campus MovieFest website, each student who entered in the festival was given a Panasonic HD camcorder and Apple Macbook to use for the contest. Having seven days, the student filmmakers were challenged to make the best films they could with the resources provided.

Sean Davé, who directed the Best Picture and Best Production Design winner “Wierder ‘Zam,” said having a budget of only $300 did not affect the story he was trying to tell.

“I guess it depends on how you look at it,” Davé said. “Everyone, of course, wishes that they had an unlimited budget to make the movie of their dreams. One thing that could be said for a limited budget is that it kind of forces you to get creative and become a problem solver.”

For Alex Beatty, who directed the Best Drama winner “Glimpse,” taking advantage of the resources available to his team was the key to succeeding. He said having access to equipment and CMF support through the contest helped give the contestants an added boost.

“It forces problem solving and having to create something with limited resources,” Beatty said. “I think some of the better parts about it is that it does challenge you to think outside the box and find new ways to make things happen.”

(See also “UA students participate in Sundance Film Festival.”)

For “Check, Mate,” the film that won Best Comedy and Best Editing, directors Cayce Savage and Leah Dunkel did not have a budget. Savage said she didn’t find working without a budget very difficult.

“We try to make a policy of only using people who we know we’ll get along with, so we don’t need to pay them,” Savage said.

Savage and Dunkel had their friends act in the film rather than search for actors from an outside source and created a rig for the camera with two skateboards.

Davé used local resources to help recreate the World War II era of his film. He and his team filmed at a historic home in Tuscaloosa, and the machine gun embankment used on the set was made with burlap sacks from a feed store in Northport filled with sawdust, two tripods and a sheet, Davé said.

Savage said she doesn’t believe a limited budget affects the scope of a story.

“I don’t think at all that it affects the type of stories,” Savage said. “I think it affects the film quality often, and you can tell who’s willing to be a professional, who’s willing to put in their own money and who’s not.”

(See also “Campus MovieFest brought drama, comedy to Ferguson Center.”)

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