Kent State class prepares for film production

The HD Film Production, Practicum in African-American Affairs class are preparing for the production of the film Research: The Musical. Traci Williams and David Smeltzer will be the instructors for the course throughout the summer and into the fall semester. The goal of the course is to shoot a 90 minute film, and Williams said, she wants to be sure to provide students with the experience she didn’t receive before getting into the film industry.

Unlike last year’s production, the cast is in place and has been rehearsing prior to the first day of the summer course. Students enrolled in the summer class will assist with real life tasks for the production of the film, and interns and volunteers will also help with the heavy work load. Williams said the hours will be long, but the experience will be worth it. The film will require at least 16 departments in order to complete production by finals week during fall 2011, their expected due date.

“We’re trying to give you the most realistic experience as possible,” said Williams to the class.

The two instructors explained to the class that the jargon on film set is completely different from school or social settings. The experience they’ll gain through this course will assist them in their future endeavors.

“This will give you a flavor of what it’s like as a career,” Smeltzer said.

The text for the class is Filmmaking: Direct Your Movie from Script to Screen Using Proven Hollywood Techniques was written by Jason Tomaric, a Hollywood filmmaker who will speak to the class June 7-9 in Franklin Hall. This process is what Williams and Smeltzer call “film boot camp.” Tomaric will provide the class with information about the ins and outs of the film business. Smeltzer explained that Tomaric is someone who did everything wrong and went through the right experiences before doing everything right in the film industry.

This project will also incorporate the expertise of students from different departments at Kent State. With a music and choreography department included in production, the film crew will ask for help from The School of Theatre and Dance and The School of Music.

“What’s awesome about this is that we’re crossing over so many different departments,” Williams said.

Last year, the class produced the film Breaking News with the help of 12 students from the class and 30 other crew members. Williams said this year’s film will be different from their previous projects.

“It’s so different. These guys who wrote the script just did a really good job,” she said.

This will be the fifth time Smeltzer and Williams have taught the class. Production for the film is scheduled to begin June 12.

Contact Summer Kent Stater managing editor Raytevia Evans at [email protected].