Without a summer break, Salt Lake Community College film professors Channing Lowe and Mark Davis work with students during the year to prepare scripts in anticipation of the Film Bootcamp.
Although boots may be optional, the term “boot camp” describes the intensive filmmaking immersion where twenty-five students band together as a class film crew to make a short film.
“The experience is very involved and busy. From the get-go, they will be put to work, learning what it is like to work on an actual movie set. This is as close as they can get to a full movie production,” says Lowe.
Pre-production takes several months to select all of the elements for the chosen script and put the pieces in place. The plot of this year’s film, “CheckNOW,” centers around two bumbling robbers who plan the ultimate heist.
“The students have been over art design, cinematography, post production, lighting and grip, and sound recording,” says Lowe.
During production, students are assigned to various crew positions. The crew must blend their technical knowledge and anticipate what their team needs for a successful production.
As a technical field, attention to detail is as critical as timing in shooting conditions — the simple sound of an airplane flying overhead might ruin the perfect shot. With a skilled team, Bootcamp shines in developing the experience to weather storms in less than two months.
“The hard work of the students has always paid off on our Bootcamp productions. The SLCC Bootcamp films have been accepted into several film festivals,” says Davis.
Post-production is where the film comes together. This includes cleaning up any remaining audio or visual mistakes, adding a soundtrack and promoting the film before the screening.
“Every year, the Bootcamp films are submitted to several film festivals and we usually have an initial screening at Brewvies in the late fall,” says Lowe.
SLCC Bootcamp films have had recent success on the circuit.
“We were very successful with Bootcamp 2013, ‘Steve from Accounting vs the Shadow Dwellers.’ It screened in over 20 film festivals and picked-up over 8 awards,” says Lowe.
So far, “CheckNOW” also looks promising.
“This year’s Bootcamp is amazing, the student crew may be the best we’ve ever had. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final film [in November],” says Davis.