The ViewPoint

Digital Cinema and Media students premiere their short films

Digital+Cinema+and+Media+Students+%28from+left%29+Madison+Hill%2C+Drew+Dolezal%2C+Tynan+Vetter%2C+Josh+Ottis%2C+Instructor+Timothy+Miller
Digital Cinema and Media Students (from left) Madison Hill, Drew Dolezal, Tynan Vetter, Josh Ottis, Instructor Timothy Miller

Digital Cinema and Media Students (from left) Madison Hill, Drew Dolezal, Tynan Vetter, Josh Ottis, Instructor Timothy Miller

Digital Cinema and Media Students (from left) Madison Hill, Drew Dolezal, Tynan Vetter, Josh Ottis, Instructor Timothy Miller

Nancy Sutton Smith, Viewpoint Advisor

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Four students enrolled in the Digital Cinema and Media program at Northeast Community College presented their short films at the Norfolk 7 Theatre on Saturday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m.  Tynan Vetter, Gretna, Drew Dolezal, Morse Bluff, Madison Hill,  Kearney, and Josh Ottis, Norfolk produced short films for the semester long Digital Cinema Capstone class taught by Timothy Miller and Nancy Sutton Smith at the Norfolk, Nebraska campus.

Students wrote a script for a 10-15 minute film or documentary, recruited actors, decided on filming locations, and scheduled the film production crew.  They were also responsible for taking production still images, creating a movie poster, producing a movie trailer, adhering to production schedules, music copyright laws, and coming up with log and tag lines, everything that would be required of them if they were entering a professional film festival.

This is the first year for the Capstone class short film project and the second year for the new Digital Cinema and Media AAS degree. Instructor Timothy Miller said the premiere was a great success. “We had a very nice sized and very receptive audience and the students got a lot out of seeing the audience reactions and the questions that were asked afterwards . For our first outing I was very pleased. I am very proud of our student efforts, they put in countless hours with zero budget and came up with fantastic short films. We plan to take all the feedback from this year to make our 2017 premiere even better.”

Norfolk audience asked Northeast Digital Cinema students questions about their filming process

The Norfolk audience asked Northeast Digital Cinema students questions about their filming process

Josh Ottis answers audience questions

Josh Ottis answers audience questions

Dolezal’s film was called “Connect“, and he said one of the hardest parts of the process was translating his scripting into something that would make sense to an audience. He said the best part of the experience was working with the actors. “All of them were the most patient, fun, and awesome people I’ve worked with. When working with Dan Petersen, Aurora and Bryce Eisenmenger, Humphrey,  Dan wanted to do a scene that was never in the film, and was never included, just his idea. His takes for that scene were so hilarious, I couldn’t use the audio from the take because we were laughing. Luckily/unfortunately it didn’t fit the tone of the film. But it was all still worth it, just to have so much fun and creating an awesome moment for all involved,” Dolezal said.

Daniel Petersen (left) Bryce Eisenmenger

Daniel Petersen (left) Bryce Eisenmenger (right) “Connect”

Vetter’s film, “A Friend For Life” became a production challenge when he had to find a  new lead actor.  Hill’s film, “Letters To You” challenged her ability to find enough hours in the day. “My biggest issue was time management. Between work, and the other 16 credits I was taking, it was hard finding time to get all my homework done on top of making a movie.”

Two of the stars of Ottis’ film, “Hide n’ Seek” were his daughters and he says it was a challenge to be a director and a dad at the same time.

Audience enjoys listening to filmmakers talk about making a short film

Audience enjoys listening to filmmakers talk about making a short film

Digital Cinema Media Capstone

Digital Cinema and Media Students (from left) Madison Hill, Drew Dolezal, Tynan Vetter, Josh Ottis, Instructor Timothy Miller

All the filmmakers say they learned a lot about working with actors, production techniques, and scheduling. Dolezal said his advice for next year’s students would be to get a crew and the actors lined up early.  And he said, focus on the story first, not the production. “A better story will trump better production every time. And never, never neglect audio quality. An audience will forgive poor quality video but never poor audio,” said Dolezal.

Hill said, “Don’t procrastinate. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of editing till 4 a.m. when you have to wake up at 7 the next day. And over all just follow your gut when determining what to do with your project.”

The movie trailers and production stills can be seen at the Digital Cinema and Media website.  For more information about the Media Arts degree at Northeast Community College, go to the Media Arts page on the Northeast website.

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About the Writer
Nancy Sutton Smith, Advisor

Nancy Sutton Smith is The Viewpoint advisor and Mass Media instructor at Northeast Community College.

Sutton Smith holds a bachelor of arts degree...

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Digital Cinema and Media students premiere their short films