The Month of Film
I started January scheduled to do set dressing/ set decoration on Hartley, a great short film directed and written by Brandon Sparks and DP-ed by Marc Patterson. I feel that working on this film really helped me to realize what being on 12-14 hour set would be like. Before this, I more or less thought that my talent in film was limited to the art department and that I couldn't do anything else. The project lent itself in the ways that I incorporated into the three Campus Movie Fest films that I helped on. For instance, by watching Adrienne with props and asking Hunter, the production designer on the film, questions, I found out that films use fake cigarettes and create their own labels to avoid legal issues.
Starting in December or about around that, I was asked to help on Sawyer's Hat, which was a drama about a young boy who lost his grandfather and how he copes with and comes to an understanding about that loss. The script was directed and written by Drew Tanner, and I was brought on through Carly, the producer, who I had worked with on The Right Pick. I kind of knew that I had to be on this project, but what made me more enamored with it was that the house was almost exactly how I imagined it would be from reading the script.
One of the directors I worked with was Erin which was pretty cool since I had had a class with her before but had never done a film with her. The Hair Piece is about a man that is obsessed with and envious of anyone with long hair and how he takes it a little too far with his obsession. I didn't get to be on the set for The Hair Piece, which she wrote, directed and acted a little in as much as I wanted to, but I was able to create as much as I could and make a props and wardrobe list that included everything they needed. As one of the props, I ended up making a wig out of a bald cap, three colors of weave, a hot glue gun, and a needle and thread. I think that that was the biggest, most time-consuming, and thrilling prop I had ever made for a film.
I was asked by Colson, a friend of mine, to production design his comedy short, Norton Family Reunion, about a family doing a seance to communicate with the main character's dead sister about her quiche recipe. Before this, I had never done makeup for ghost character, or paid that much attention to food continuity. I looked up videos, looked at pictures, and even practiced on myself to get the ghost looks down so I wouldn't be completely lost the day of filming. I had done some food continuity on Hartley and The Right Pick, but not something where food was in almost every shot. So, I had to be careful how I went about the position of everything in the dining space.
This was my first time going to Campus Movie Fest at UA and watching the top 16 films that placed. I usually don't even know it's happening till the day of or the day after. I feel blessed to have worked on three of the submitted films, two of which placed in the top 16. After the event, I'm kind of on this high where I'm both overwhelmed and excited to be a part of helping to make these films. All of the crews taught me different things about myself and what I am willing to do for a film whether its making a wig as a prop, making labels for herbal cigarettes, or offering to make a quiche and buying my first table cloth.
From my experiences, I have learned that working in the art department is what I want to do and not the only thing I can do.