Rose Zhou / Lantern reporter
Directors of three student-made movies on Ohio State’s campus are going to win a trip to Hollywood in June to put their creation up against the best in the nation.
The annual Campus MovieFest travels to 70 campuses across the United States and abroad to give students an opportunity to make a five-minute short film in seven days. Students across the country are given the necessary equipment and training to tell their stories for free.
“One of the things that is very cool about Campus Movie Festival is that they kind of want to make it clear that it is a campus theme,” said Jack McClintock, a fourth-year in operations management, who is in charge of the judge panel selection for OSU this year. “They want to make it a really neat opportunity for Ohio State students, and because of that many people can get involved from Ohio State, given the opportunities to do stuff like judging, or having the ability to get all of the equipment for free.”
The festival launched its OSU event at the Center for Student Leadership and Service in the Ohio Union Tuesday at noon. As part of the last segment of its yearlong satellite tour, the festival is coming to an end of campus-based competitions after its stop at OSU, and is advancing to the grand finale in Hollywood this June.
The MovieFest crew handed out Apple laptops and Panasonic HD video cameras to 35 teams of OSU students from various majors at its event Tuesday. They will collect the equipment and short films from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, and screen the top 16 movies from OSU on May 10 at Gateway Film Center, said Nishant Gogna, Campus MovieFest promotions manager.
“Even if you don’t have much experiences in terms of making a film, in terms of technical achievement,” Gogna said. “At the end of the day, my personal advice is all about the story, and how well it can move an audience, and I believe that you don’t need to have any experience at all in filmmaking to really understand how to tell a story, and that’s where true talent shines.”
The average number of teams participating this year in each college is about 70, Gogna said.
“This year it’s a little lower at the Ohio State, and it’s one of the advantages for Ohio State students to have a less pool of competition,” Gogna said. “Your chances of going to Hollywood is obviously much greater statistically.”
As one of the Buckeyes who entered the grand finale last year, McClintock’s short film “Spare Change” won the Campus Best Drama Award at OSU. This year, as the production coordinator of Ohio Union Television, he has been coordinating with the Campus MovieFest to bring it back to OSU since last December.
McClintock said the judge selection process is essentially a random pick. Anyone from OSU can be a judge as long as he or she has an understanding of film in general, regardless of previous film production experience.
“I have a template email that Campus Movie Festival gives to me,” McClintock said. “And I literally just went to different departments’ websites, and found OSU faculty members, shot them an email to see if they would be interested.”
McClintock will assemble the student judges by operating a “blanket email.” He plans to email a variety of students, with the first 12 students who respond getting the chance to be the judges.
He said students interested in becoming judges are also welcome to contact him via email.
The CMF Hollywood event is a signature three-day grand finale where celebrities, industry insiders and industry professionals come to join numerous student workshops.
“All the students can showcase their films, network with other professionals as well,” Gogna said. “A lot of students’ careers launch through Campus MovieFest at that event.”
Henry Liu, a second-year in economics, picked up equipment Tuesday and plans to direct and edit his original action/drama short film, which tells a detective story.
“I am somewhat confident,” Liu said. “I think it’s a decent story, and I think I can do a good job with it, just hoping go with the flow.”