CCAD Cinematic Arts BFA Senior Thesis Film (2015)
Michael Castelaz: The events that inspired the film took place in 1999, while Nick Speed and I were students at Henry Ford Community College. I knew back then that it was a funny story, and had even written a version of it in a creative writing class. Over the years it just became one of those things you tell people about when you want to embarrass Nick, or just make someone laugh. I've been a film student at Columbia University for almost five years now, and at a certain point, I realized that my taste, my perspective, and my sense of humor were being crushed by the weight of my education. Going back to this story was like rediscovering where I come from. It's also just fun to be nostalgic about being 18 again.
CCAD Cinematic Arts BFA Senior Thesis Film
I can understand why this brought Alejandro Amenabar to a fruitful career, but I really just thought this was a serviceable, brainless thriller. The one thing that irked me most is that Angela is simply one of the dumbest horror protagonists I've ever seen. She is vacant, unresourceful and a God-awful liar. For one, she NEVER calls the police, despite being embroiled in a steadily worsening snuff film situation; she has no compelling reason not to do so. None. When confronted by people who are suspicious of her snooping around, she stutters and says "no" a lot, or just repeats what they're saying to her. She has about two good ideas through the entire course of the film and it's kind of amazing that she even pulls these off. We are led to believe that Angela is an intelligent girl, but she shows us almost none of this, making one awful decision after the other. Angela's indiscretions serve to highlight some flaws in the plot - again, why does no one call the police? Why are the killers keeping their video tapes in the basement of the school, and how come so many people have access to this basement when security is presumably patrolling it? And ultimately, what compels Angela to try and solve this case herself? All we know is that she has a cursory interest in (though supposed disdain for) violence, but that offers no real reason for her not to get anyone else involved. This is a technically strong film with a decent message, though "obsession with violence in the media" is really old-hat by now. It's a far better delivery of the theme than Funny Games, I have to say it, and I'm sure it hit harder back in 1996. I guess this aged in a way that Se7en did; sensational pictures rarely seem to last very long.
I was at the Graduate School of Journalism at the documentary program there, and this was my thesis film. I worked with all the incredible, legendary faculty of the documentary program, like Orlando Bagwell, Jon Else, Dan Krauss, Spencer Nakasako. Incredible, legendary filmmakers were consulting producers, and executive producers, really.
Throughout the first year at the American Film Institute, we have worked together and watched each other grow both as people and as storytellers. We hope to extend this experience into our thesis year and build on each other’s unique strengths.The film brings together a great cast including Odessa Rae (Smallville, ER, Hard Candy) and four-time Emmy Nominee Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue, Grey’s Anatomy, Middle of Nowhere) who both deliver stellar performances under Pasarell’s direction.“The Visit” was filmed on location in Marina Del Rey, CA. It is a compelling a drama about the complex relationship between a mother and daughter. When a tragic event turns Diana’s life upside down, she receives a visit from the last person from whom she wants help – her estranged mother. The film explores the complicated relationship and leads to viewer to wonder if they bridge the gap that divides them.Vivienne Medrano's 4th year animated Thesis film, done at SVA!
This story follows the bubbly, Timber. As she uses music to unify the denizens of a woodsy owl critter world, segregated by the number of eyes they possess!
Animated in TV paint
Created at SVA 2013-2014
Awards: 2014 Dusty AwardA film thesis is the topic or angle at which you are viewing the film. Clear focus on a film will allow you to do a thorough analysis in a limited number of pages and, at the same tim, expand the topic along broad-enough lines to keep your reader interested.Level 23 is a sci-fi film written by Garrett Thoen, directed by Nathan Breton, and helmed by Garrett, Nate, and Wade Ferrari. Check out their indiegogo , where you can watch a trailer and a behind-the-scenes video. If you’re at IC, the film screens during the cinema thesis screening on May 5th in Park Aud (time tbd).Earlier I mentioned I was nearing completion on a set of animated credits I was making for my friends’ thesis film, Level 23. As I promised I’d post a few stills, and I’m certainly not a moose who goes back on her word, here they are! Ignore the little red dot in the center, these are snapshots from After Effects and that’s just an anchor point for a layer (so not a part of the credits).In non-Moose news, I’m nearly done animating the end credits for another thesis film, Level 23. Only the finishing touches and the scrolling credits are left, which is very exciting indeed. I also just finished my final painting in painting class today, but I was bad and forgot to take pictures. Expect a few photos next week when I’m back in the art studio. In the meantime, here is the finalized Moose poster and a whole slew of stills from some of the scenes I’ve colored (Level 23 stills will be arriving in another post shortly). Enjoy!Step two: Discussion. We asked them what filmic elements stood out the most. Maybe it was Henry’s hand slamming down on the sugar cubes he had lined up. Maybe it was the dramatic music. Maybe it was the warm colors of the bar compared with the cool colors of the hospital. Lots of options there.Nocturne in Black follows Karim, a young musician living in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, who struggles to rebuild his piano after it has been destroyed by Islamist militants whose interpretation of shariah forbids the playing of music. The short film won Jury Selects at the Columbia University Film Festival, a National Board of Review Student Grant, a Caucus Foundation Production Grant, a Marion Carter Green Award, and an IFP Audience Award, and was also selected as a Kickstarter Staff Pick; it will screen at the Telluride Film Festival in early September and has played at LA Shorts Fest and other international film festivals.