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Ohio State students to showcase short films in ‘Digi-EYE’

Courtesy of Dave Fisher

Ohio State’s lack of a filmmaking program isn’t stopping some students from creating their own films, and this weekend some of those filmmakers will debut their work.

“We don’t have a program, but we do have a lot of students who are making work on campus, and I think it’s pretty interesting,” said Janet Parrott, an associate professor teaching media in the Department of Theatre.

“Digi-EYE,” a showcase of student-made films and videos, is scheduled to take place for its second year on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Thurber Theatre

Parrott said some of the films are short, with most being in the three-minute range, because filmmaking has so many steps, including writing the script, filming and editing.

“(The students) are primarily the sole creators (of each video),” Parrott said. “They do it all.”

Seth Radley, a fourth-year in political science and film studies, who submitted several pieces to “Digi-EYE,” said this was a challenge.

“You’re doing a one-man show,” Radley said.  

Thomas Heban, a second-year graduate student in digital animation and interactive media, submitted three pieces into this year’s “Digi-EYE,” including one called “Focus.” 

Heban said the assignment for “Focus” was to highlight the audio aspects of films and how they work with the visual aspects. 

“It involves the sounds of a person who’s doing Olympic weight lifting,” said Heban, who has worked at a gym in the past. “It was something that I was very familiar with and I was able to highlight the sounds that stick out to me.” 

Heban also worked with Radley and film studies student Taylor Stokes on a group piece called “Computer Screen,” which was based on the short story “EPICAC” by Kurt Vonnegut. 

“All three of us had input as directors, all three of us had input as editors,” Heban said. “It’s a lot different doing something like that, but you get some nice collaboration.”  

Although Heban said having three people collaborating on one piece was challenging, in the end it was worth it.

“We all worked really well together,” Heban said. 

Although some aspects of filmmaking are difficult, Radley said he enjoyed the editing process most.

“It’s fun to take what you have and make it into a polished, finished piece of work,” Radley said.

Heban agreed that editing can be very satisfying.

“When you get a sequence that works,” Heban said, “You feel like you made something that’s worthwhile and somebody else might actually like to look at it.”

Parrott coordinated the showcase and said she campaigned to have the public viewing for the students.

“Ever since I’ve been here, I have, somehow, every year, tried to have a public showing of student work,” said Parrott, who coordinated the showcase. “The last two years (2012 and 2013) we’ve actually been listed as part of the season in the Department of Theatre.” 

Parrott said that at this year’s “Digi-EYE,” about a dozen pieces will be shown from a wide range of genres including animation, narrative and documentaries.

“They don’t quite fall into easy categories,” she said. “Some of them are very much experimental pieces.” 

Parrott said she often assigns her students to focus on particular aspects or gives them prompts for their videos, giving them “a very specific problem or challenge to solve.”

The Thurber Theatre is located in the Drake Performance and Event Center at 1849 Cannon Drive. Admission is free.

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