Many people dream about making movies, but some Salt Lake Community College students are making that dream come true.
Students who participate in the Summer Film Bootcamp get to learn what it is like to be part of a production crew and work on a real film.
“We try to make the Bootcamp as close as we are able to, at this point, to a real film set,” says film equipment manager Jonathan Olsen. “During the fall and spring terms we have a lot of different little productions that are student run. But this one is where everyone gets together for this particular class and they work on a much larger film production.”
The Bootcamp provides a hands-on experience for anyone who wants to make a movie.
“It’s kind of a crash-course project class were anybody can take it. You don’t have to be in the film program,” says film instructor Channing Lowe. “Anybody in the community can come in and take the course.”
The summer class takes about eight weeks to shoot a short film, which is longer than would normally be expected for filmmaking.
“That’s why we call it a Bootcamp; we just go for it,” Lowe says. “We are training them, getting them used to the equipment and shooting.”
Students also agree that one of the main parts of making a film is the experience itself.
“I love the hands-on experience. I’ve taken a few film classes before and some of them aren’t as hands-on as this is,” says Blake Buchanan, the key gaffer of this year’s Bootcamp. “This one definitely jumps you into it; you learn a lot more than what you would have if you [took] another class [where] you sit around a computer and do outside work yourself.”
Students put a lot of prep work into the Bootcamp, including script writing and set building.
“When the class started we cleared the [old] set,” Olsen says. “We [used] a lot of the same materials [to build] this new set, which [includes] a living room and an attached kitchen complete with sink, counter and cabinets.”
Not only is there a new set in the film stage, but Bootcamp participants get to learn about how a movie is made and make new friends along the way.
“I’m used to working with a lot smaller teams, but at the same time I am used to working with the same people,” says Keenan Panti, the Bootcamp student director. “This time around there are so many people with no experience, so it’s flustering, but it’s also fun. And everybody has the opportunity to learn and that’s what this class is really about — the learning experience.”
Panti also wrote the script for the movie this year.
“We are doing a story based on a friend of mine, a true story that he had,” he says. “His family dog passed away and the only one who really seemed to care about it was his eccentric father. Deciding that he couldn’t bear to do anything with the body of the dog, the dad decided to stick him in the freezer. As time went on more and more pets had died and accrued in the freezer.”
Production continues into the fall, as students in the Film 2075 Advanced Editing class complete editing and color correction, and the Film 2065 Motion Picture Sound class will work on sound mixing.
“The idea is to make this really big project [a] really nice looking, high-quality professional product,” Lowe says.
The 10-minute Bootcamp film will be completed sometime in November.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it because the quality of the film is wonderful,” Buchanan says. “It makes a huge difference to see something your passionate about turn out so well.”