Open Frame filmmakers raise financial support online


The Open Frame Film Festival took place on April 20. The festival was held at the Canton Palace Theatre for the second time, although this was the first year it featured a red carpet event before the film screening.

The award winners are as follows:

Best Director: Kaitie Fox, (v): to forgive

Best Cinematography:Allie Sayre, The Guest

The Open Frame Film Festival took place on April 20 at the Canton Palace Theatre. (Photo by Autumn Berry)

Best Screenplay: Kyle McClellan, The Guest

Best Actor: Brook Pittinger, Windmill

Best Actress: Allie Sayre, It’s a One Time Thing (It Just Happens…A Lot)

Best Supporting Actor: Seth Yergin, It’s a One Time Thing (It Just Happens…A Lot)

Best Supporting Actress: Chloe Asselin, It’s a One Time Thing (It Just Happens…A Lot)

Best Original Score: Lauren Sevigny, (v): to forgive

Best Sound Design: Tony Davis and Justin Lovett, Windmill

Best Editing: Kaitie Fox, (v): to forgive

Best Film: Brook Pittinger and Tony Davis, Windmill

Best Camp Film: Peter Simionides, Neptunian Cyborgs Go To Paris: A Time Odyssey

Best Community Contribution: Tie between Justin Lovett and Jeremy Kruis, Producers, Cinematographers and Editors for Windmill and Tyler Clark, cinematographer and editor for Wooden Drawers and It’s a One Time Thing (It Just Happens…A Lot)

Audience Award: (v): to forgive

Dr. Andrew Rudd, associate professor of communication arts, began Open Frame 12 years ago after several of his students showed interest in making films. The event started with the films being shown on campus in the Barn and has grown with each consecutive year. A film concentration for the communications major emerged from it.

The department is very supportive of students in their efforts to produce films for Open Frame.

“The real cost is the tools,” Rudd said. “We allow any students who have taken our production classes to use the Malone equipment.”

Students can also apply for a grant up to $300. But the project is largely the responsibility of the students.

“My hope is that students will find their voice,” Rudd said. “It’s very hard to do in videos. You also learn a lot of other practical skills when you’re making a film. You have to manage a schedule, manage a crew, and you have to have interpersonal skills, be able to communicate a vision in a compelling way, [and have] project management. Better than all of those is the ability to be a storyteller.”

While Malone provides much of the basic supplies students need, they are left on their own for any special supplies their film may require, recruiting actors, and covering the expenses of anything beyond what Malone can loan them. Several students choose to use the website Kickstarter to raise support for their film.

“With Kickstarter, students put their idea up on the website and ask people to give them money,” Rudd said. “If you meet your goal within 30 days, you get all the money that you raised.”

One student was able to raise $60,000 for his film on Kickstarter last year.

It was junior math major Kyle McClellan’s first year directing a film for Open Frame. McClellan used Kickstarter to help fund his film and to raise awareness and support. He still had to come up with some of the money himself, however.

Brook Pittinger won best actor for his appearance in The Windmill. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Rudd)

“The lighting equipment cost a lot of money,” McClellan said. “But one mom paid for the pizza for everyone. It maybe went $50 over budget besides the pizza and I just took that hit.”

Nate Merritt, a junior individualized major, directed a film for his second year. He served as a production assistant in a previous year. Merritt used Kickstarter last year and raised $500 with it but this year he funded his film completely out of pocket.

“It was a smaller film, it wasn’t as ambitious,” Merritt said. “I didn’t think I needed as much money.”

Merritt has never had any real problems with producing his films or raising money for them. He has received a lot of support from family and friends for the projects. He also used people he knew as set workers and actors.

“Everyone’s work was an invaluable resource,” Merritt said. “Surprisingly it wasn’t much of a challenge. I kind of had it easy.”

After the Open Frame Film Festival, students have many options of what to do with their film.

“One thing students can do with their film is put it in a drawer and never look at it again,” Rudd said. “That’s a bad idea. One thing that a lot of students do is enter their films in other film festivals all around the nation.”

Students are also encouraged to develop a reel or put several clips from their films on a CD to show future employers. Many students also put their films on the internet, besides or in addition to entering them in other film festivals.

After Open Frame this year, Merritt plans to send his film to another film festival. “The original cut of this year’s video was 25 minutes long and it’s only allowed to be 15 minutes for the Open Frame,” he said. “I’m going to submit the longer version to other festivals.”

“I definitely see myself doing this in the future and can’t see myself not doing it,” Merritt said.

He hopes to submit a film for Open Frame next year and to continue producing films in the future.

 Kaitlyn Stump is a staff writer for The Aviso AVW.


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