Dim the lights and settle in with a tub of popcorn at the Time Theater on Main Street in Oshkosh for an evening showing of seven University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student short films on Monday, May 14.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the free event starts rolling at 6 p.m., featuring films created in the radio TV film (RTF) department’s advanced visual production class taught by assistant professor Beth Hubbard.
The students learned invaluable skills throughout the spring semester as they tried on the roles of director, cinematographer, producer and editor for the films: Attack of the Llama Men, Blind Space, Comfortably Uncomfortable, Discovery of the Soul, Proud of You, The Diner, and The Message.
“At the start of each semester, we find locations, cast actors, create shot lists and establish the overall tone of the film,” Hubbard explained. “Now in the post-production process, I am assisting with reviewing each films’ cuts, and as a class we review how the story is coming together. We discuss the areas of the film that need adjustment in pacing or shot selection and overall how to enhance the storytelling process with sound design.”
Senior Amanda Beistle, of Appleton, a RTF major with a music industry minor, served as director of the film, Proud of You.
“As a first-time director, the whole film-making process was new for me,” she said. “I learned everything from the beginning of pre-production to the end of post-production. I was able to experience how it is to make a film from start to finish. While there were challenging parts, directing this film allowed me to experience those issues here in college and prepare me for a career after graduation.”
David Yanish, an RTF major from River Falls, wrote and directed the film, Comfortably Uncomfortable.
“Making the film taught me how to lead people in a tough situation with tight deadlines. We have to be quick and precise and I learned how to get there, even though it was tough going for a lot of it,” he said.
Lighting issues forced Yanish’s crew to reshoot a large portion of the film.
“This was different from most films I have made and was definitely the most difficult film I’ve produced. But my crew and I learned how to fight through the troubles,” he said.
Sean Becher, a RTF senior from Stratford, served as the editor/sound designer on Proud of You and Comfortably Uncomfortable.
“Both of these films gave me the opportunity to apply the skills I have learned in my four years at UWO,” Becher said. “Despite being short films, each was a large undertaking and I enjoyed the challenge. Comfortably Uncomfortable, in particular, has presented unique challenges that have helped shape me into a better sound designer.”
Although RTF senior Keaton O’Neill, of Oshkosh, learned much about creativity through his work as the writer and photography director of The Diner, he ultimately discovered that he is not interested in pursuing a career in narrative film-making.
“The whole process is much more complicated, thought-out and in-depth than I had anticipated,” he said.
As the Student Film Showcase nears, the students are wrapping up their projects.
“The most rewarding part is to see the final films come to life,” Hubbard said. “It is extremely exciting to take this idea they had on paper, watch them work as a team to create the film and see it all come together for the big screen,” Hubbard said. “They have worked so hard to accomplish every aspect of making a short film and now they get to see it all come together. It is such a delight to see the polished, finished films.”
Yanish has been going to see movies at the Time since his freshman year and has occasionally volunteered at the venue
“I am thrilled for my film to be shown at the Time Theatre. It’s a great feeling for my work to be shown at a theater I love,” he said. “This is close to an actual premiere and an important night for all of the filmmakers present so I hope as many people as possible show up.”