Opinion: Second-time Open Frame director shares experience


I have the inexplicable issue of having a multitude of stories, ideas and pictures in my head that are all competing to move to the front of my thoughts. Most people would appreciate these creative notions, but where can one release them? I have tried drawing and painting but that didn’t work out. I am a wannabe percussionist. Don’t even get me started on dance. I was a neurotic mess until one day I saw a paper posted on a hallway announcement board. As I read the poster a light from heaven surrounded me and I heard angels singing on high. I had discovered the Open Frame Film Festival! Everything was right with the world.

The Open Frame is the greatest thing since iced tea! It is an opportunity that is knocking. It is a program that combines creativity, collaboration, practice and fun with visible results.

Mike Lawson is a senior communication arts major. (Photo by Autumn Berry)

My first venture into the Open Frame was in 2011-2012. At that time I was in Dr. Rudd’s scriptwriting class (which I highly recommend) and I developed a short script that I thought was funny. Of course, funny is a matter of context. I decided that this script would be great to be seen on the big screen. I jumped in both feet first. Mistake. Making a film is a lot harder than one would think! I did finally get the film done and shown at the Open Frame.

I was semi-satisfied. I discovered some flaws in the Open Frame program. At first, I blamed the program but after reflection, it was my own inexperience that set me up to be mediocre. I intend for my 2013 Open Frame experience to be different.

Like many other things in life, I have learned that the Open Frame is not about perfection or winning. It is in the journey. Oh, it’s great to win, and to see your script make it from an idea to the screen, but to me, it is the friendships that are developed and the times of laughter and frustration that occur during the process that are most important. The Open Frame is about giving your best and providing a great story.

I am not a film major, which could explain why my films are second-rate. You definitely won’t see one of mine at the Oscars anytime soon. However, like anything else, practice makes perfect. The Open Frame is for anyone that even remotely has an interest in film and fun!

So, after all of that, it is my opinion that the Open Frame Film Festival is a great avenue to pursue a dream, tell a story, laugh and cry, learn and develop lasting friendships. The last on the list is probably the most important to me. I have worked with many talented people during the film process. All of them I consider friends, from fellow students to professors. If it were not for Dr. Rudd’s encouragement, I probably would not have pursued the film outlet for my scripts. He inspired me to release the stories and ideas into something that others may see, understand and enjoy. After all, the point of a film is to entertain.

I encourage everyone to be part of the Open Frame because you never know what you will learn, who you will meet and what will happen! It’s a journey that few will regret and one that will give a tangible memory that can be seen by those now and in the future.

Mike Lawson is a senior communication arts major.

Categories: Opinion

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