April 24, 2017
Expect the unexpected when the Cinema department rolls out the red carpet for the five capstone films and one feature shot by 13 students entirely on cell phones headlining this year’s VideoPalooza on May 4 at 7 p.m. in Decker Auditorium in Lewis Hall. The films deal with the tragedies and crises of life and may be inappropriate for children younger than 14.
The typical “college life” story isn’t among the 20- to 30-minute films that showcase the talents and skills acquired by Cinema majors during their McDaniel education. Instead, the films tackle some challenging topics such as friends dealing with a cancer diagnosis, abortion, drug addiction as well as career and life choices after college.
“These young filmmakers are taking unflinching looks at hard stories,” says Cinema professor Jonathan Slade. “They tell the stories that matter to them and they are proving that they are willing to take risks.
“I’m proud of them.”
During the senior capstone experience, Slade trades in his professorial role for one of studio executive and mentor, becoming a watchdog on production schedules, scripts and the technical aspects of filmmaking.
“I try to make it a real world experience for them,” says the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. “I am not a parent, coach or counselor — I am as close as I can be to an industry rep.”
The result is showcase of films that belie the ages and experience of the filmmakers. Even “Glitched,” the feature filmed entirely on cell phones and sequentially written by students in Slade’s Cell Phone Cinema class, reflects the incredible camaraderie and team problem solving that prevail in the special topics course.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Megan Davis filming on the beach at Rehoboth.
• “Crashing Waves” by writer/director Megan Lynn Davis of Elkridge, Md.
A young woman spends a winter weekend at Rehoboth Beach with her closest friends after learning she has cancer. (30 min, fiction)
• “Undecided” by writer/director Khadijah Poston of Columbia, Md. (a junior taking her capstone a year early)
A college-aged woman discovers she's pregnant. Her boyfriend urges her to have the baby while her best friend tells her to consider how it will affect her future. She must decide. (20 min, fiction)
• “Shuggie” by writer/director Gil Ramirez of Los Angeles, Calif.
A young woman gives up her dream of being a circus clown to try living in the cruel, monotony of the real world. (20 min, fiction)
• “Tyler Graves Has Chlamydia” by writer/director Katherine Davis of Silver Spring, Md.
Tyler Graves is down on his luck. He’s just found out that he has chlamydia, his girlfriend is ready to leave him, he's lost his shoes, and, worst of all, he can't find his drug dealer. If he's going to survive the day, he's going to need to locate his dealer and get his life back on track. (20 min, fiction)
Michael Sheehan filming in his mother's pottery studio in Hopewell, N.J.
• “A New Piece” by writer/director Michael Sheehan of Hopewell, N.J.
A young man who loves pottery struggles to find his way in the work after graduating from college. (20 min, fiction)
Cell Phone Cinema film:
“Glitched” by the 13 students in Cell Phone Cinema
A young telemarketer and homeless man find themselves caught up in a complex criminal enterprise that involves drugs, stolen security codes and illegal organ harvesting.