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Student filmmakers to show shorts

By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 22, 2004
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Everyone under the stars wants to make movies. Only a few people have the creativity, passion and true grit to actually do it.

In May, graduating seniors from the Media Arts program will be showcasing their own 10-minute short films as part of their senior thesis. From start to finish, the films are conceived and birthed by the students.

Right now, most of the films are in pre-production and will begin filming in December.

Media arts seniors Logan Hall, Eddie Kim and Tim Wong are all spearheading their own, very different projects.

"I am directing a 10-minute short film that is tentatively titled 'Breaking

News,'" Hall said. "The film is a satire concerning the truth claims of television news."

Kim decided he wanted to kick a little more ass with an action movie called "The Black Seeker: Legend of Shadow."

"It's about a blind woman who wants revenge against a gang of men who took her sight away. In the end, she finds herself in a moral dilemma, where she has to save her enemy in order to get her sight back," Kim said.

Wong wanted to incorporate animation into his project.

"My movie is 'Clowning Around,' a stop-animation short for children," Wong said. "Jester the clown and Marvo the magician compete to become the new star performer of the circus, but they realize that there's enough room under the big top for the both of them."

With the freedom given to them by the program and the setup of the project encouraging creativity, Hall, Kim and Wong are able to make the films that they want to make. It's their vision, and it's their voice.

"It all starts out with the idea. Whether it's the genre, the story - it's all focused on the questions what do you want to tell and how do you want to tell it?" Kim said. "So, for me it was the genre. I wanted to do an action film. I was able to create a film within that genre. And the story that I came up with was the 'Black Seeker'."

The media arts program has enabled all of them with the skills and support (not financial as all costs are out of pocket) to allow them to make a film.

"I believe that the media arts program has definitely given me the technical

knowledge to make a high quality, professional film," Hall said.

"Before I came to UA, I had never touched a camera before. My mom couldn't afford one," Kim said. "We only had a photo camera and even that was like an average 35mm. This was the first time I had ever touched digital imagery and utilized it."

Wong said he's learned more than just technical aspects of filmmaking.

"The program has served me well in teaching me how to be a storyteller, how to develop my voice. Ultimately, this is the most important skill there is. The rest is just technology," Wong said.

Hall, Kim and Wong are all graduating in May. They are currently looking into jobs or educational programs within the biz.

"My dream job would be to work for a company like Pixar or Dreamworks. Of course there's also the option of a post-grad education. I'm currently looking at options and trying to find an employer that's best suited to my skills and the type of work that I want to produce," Wong said.

Each filmmaker will hopefully go on to make films and contribute something valuable to American society, having left their mark at the UA.

"When you consider it, movies and television are the contemporary media texts of today. Years ago, people read Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and found the stories topical and relatable," Wong said. "Movies, and media in general, are important because they are alive with the issues and subjects that are important to people. They are a reflection of the world that bore them. Of course, the goal is to craft something timeless, like Austen and Dickens, something meaningful to the human experience."

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