You may have noticed that Hanover is not Hollywood, and also that the two locations are not particularly close to one another.
However, there does exist a little bit of Hollywood stardust in the grounds of Dartmouth College in the form of film classes. That’s right, classes here can be fun.
I was recently roped into a project for Advanced Video Making, playing the crucial role of “Partygoer 2” in “Procrastination in B Minor” by Matt Castellana ’12.
“It’s the classic story of not wanting to do work and putting it off until the last minute, something that most Dartmouth students can relate to,” Castellana said when I asked him about the inspiration behind the storyline. “Not based on personal experience, of course.”
Castellana, who is also President of Dartmouth Television, said film classes at Dartmouth are an excellent outlet for those wanting to tell stories visually. The films from “Advanced Video Making” will be screened at the Loew Auditorium on March 5 at 7 p.m.
Then there’s Stories Growing Films, a student-run production company that will be shooting the film “Hey Tolu” around campus in the Spring term. The short-film narrates the story of a Nigerian student, Tolu, who struggles with the guilt of being in opportunity-filled America while his brother remains in Nigeria paralyzed from a bike accident.
The film certainly sounds thought-provoking.
“Filmmaking is not just an art form but a social force [http://escip.org/escip.org/Movies.html] also,” Jonathan Sigworth ’12, co-president of Stories Growing Films said. “We wanted our student films to be reflective of real life issues and experiences.”
The aim, once the film is completed, is for an on-campus screening in collaboration with Cutter-Shabazz.
“The purpose of the club is to make movies,” co-president Alex Stockton ’15 said. “But we are also hoping to create a production community here at Dartmouth.”
Certainly the emphasis is on community with Sigworth expressing the hope that Stories Growing Films will be a fruitful experiment “to see how students can come together to create films based off their own stories, experiences, convictions, and insights.”
For those who feel more comfortable behind the laptop than behind the camera, there are screenwriting classes where you can watch your ideas — or, indeed, your deepest, darkest fantasies — come to life.
“My project is a product of experiences I’ve been churning over in my mind for the better part of my time here,” Jack Barrett ’12 said. “Honestly, it’s hard to describe the excitement when you get to see other people react to it.”
But surely then you could just write the screenplay, why do you need a class to teach you that?
“It’s a collaborative process, and that’s where the workshop comes in,” Trisha Murphy ’13 said. “When we’re writing a screenplay, we’re not just writing for ourselves. Ultimately it’s for an audience, and it’s important to learn how to appeal to one.”
Barrett agreed: “It’s the other people in the workshop who provide the most rewarding part of the exercise. You want them to like it, you want them to feel the same way about your project as you do, and that’s what drives you to make it better.”
Tags: film, spolight