Student Films Debut at Movie Theater Showcase

Film students will see their work displayed on the big screen Tuesday during the 12th annual Student Film Showcase at the AMC Theatre at Rosemary Square, formerly known as CityPlace. Students on the set for filming.

The showcase highlights eight films and five to 10 spec commercials produced by upper-level students, Assistant Professor of Cinema Arts Andrew Ray said. The program runs about two hours. 

“First and foremost, it honors our students by taking their work seriously,” Ray said. “Secondly, it scales their work to a screen that is 10 times bigger than anything else they watch it on, and therefore, the films come to life.”

Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. presentation are $5, available online at bit.do/showcase19.

About 15 to 20 students collaborate on each film. The films average eight to 10 minutes. The spec commercials for everything from Snapple to Spotify are 30-second clips that students can show potential employers.

Tim DeMoss, a junior studying cinema arts, was a student producer for about half the films in the showcase. That meant finding students to fill out crews, putting students in roles where they could grow, assembling efficient teams, getting permits, scouting locations, making sure everyone has a ride to the set and seeing that everyone gets something to eat while they’re filming.

“A lot of the work happens before you get to the set,” DeMoss said.

Someone handles those jobs so that the creatives can do theirs, DeMoss said. Although he would rather be behind the camera than the clipboard, he knows his career will involve production work – something he learned by trying both.

This year’s films include a comedy about mind control, a story about a man in an old car that he really loves, a thriller, a romantic comedy set in an elevator, a dream sequence and a story about revenge and accidental killing, DeMoss said.

Students, faculty, family and friends usually pack the theater to see the productions projected onto the movie screen.

“There’s definitely something special about watching it on the big screen that you can’t get from watching on your phone or your laptop,” he said. “I’m glad PBA does it.”

Photo: Students were on set for filming in the fall.