MU’s recently formed Film Production Club held its first major event last Friday in Chamber Auditorium.
The Valentine's Day Film Festival contained films that were written, directed and produced by club members.
“The club provides opportunities for people to use their creative juices and get involved in film on campus,” FPC President DJ Shewmaker said.
The festival attracted a large crowd that left not a single empty seat in the auditorium. Between films the emcees drew names for raffle prizes including gift cards to stores and restaurants downtown.
The festival featured 10 short films with topics surrounding the theme of love. After viewing, the films were awarded Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Technical Production and Best Screenplay. Professors of information technology, communications, acting and screenwriting at MU and Stephens College were the judges.
Each film was five to 10 minutes long and produced in less than three weeks. The subject matter varied from blind dates to a father connecting with his son to a TV and lamp falling for each other when they meet in the garbage. There were silent films, comedies and dramas, all with a cast of two to five people.
Sky Robinson, a digital filmmaking major at Stephens College, conceived the idea for “Looks Like a Keeper” while driving along a country road.
“I saw a man fishing by himself at a pond, and that spiraled into the idea of a father and son and the only way for the son to connect his father is through fishing,” she said.
Robinson had this idea for a screenplay for more than a year, which she originally thought would be a short play, and only introduced it to film when she heard about the Valentine’s Day Film Festival.
Emily Kummerfeld, a marketing major with minors in film studies and IT, directed "Looks Like a Keeper," which took home prizes for Best Screenplay and Best Film.
“I think she did such an amazing job,” Robnison said of Kummerfeld’s directing. “It was even better than I expected.”
Kummerfeld said she hopes to do this for a living someday.
“You just want to be as honest as possible,” Kummerfeld said. “It is a sensitive topic, but I wanted to bring a little humor to it. I wanted it to be real.”
Kummerfeld said she filmed one short film last fall that is nearing completion.
"It would be so fun to make music videos or commercials for the rest of my life," she said.
Shewmaker emphasized the importance of learning by practice, a central theme in the Film Production Club.
“It’s all about experiential learning,” he said.
Shewmaker said he hopes the club will be able to sponsor more events like this in the future.