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Students create "Evie," a Brandeis original film

By Clara Gray
On October 25, 2011

This summer, the 10 undergranduates of the JBS "Filmmaking: from Script to Screen" worked on campus for eight weeks to produce their own short film. Chastity DeLorme '14, the producer of the project, titled "Evie," spoke with JustArts about this great experience.

JustArts: Could you explain a bit about this project to me?

Chastity DeLorme: It was an eight-week program with 10 of us in the class. For four weeks we took three classes: screenwriting, production and editing. Every week, we'd divide into two groups of five to write a little mini-scene in our screenwriting class. Then in editing we'd learn a different technique for editing our scenes. It is different when you're editing for comedy verses drama, etc. Then, in production, we'd film our scene and take it to the studio, where we'd upload it and edit it, and on the weekends, we would view all our scenes and critique them. Each week had a different theme: first was dialogue, second was comedy, third was suspense and so on. The next two weeks were dedicated to writing our short film. We each wrote a screenplay for a short film, and we voted on the best one. We picked Karla Alvidrez's '13 script, "Evie." For the last two weeks, we shot the film that you will all be able to see soon.

JA: What was the professor's involvement?

CD: We had Prof. Marc Weinberg (ENG) and Mark Dellelo. Weinberg was mainly involved in screenwriting and production. He taught us how to bring our ideas into something substantial. Dellelo was more interested in the technical side, but he also helped with production. They were both very involved and on the job every day. If we had to be up at 5 a.m. for shooting, they were right there with us. I was constantly communicating with them either back and forth through email or by phone. They were also there personally. Like, I broke my leg two days before the program ended, and Weinberg drove me to the orthopedic office! We have a really good bond right now. We still stay in touch and are very close.

JA: Could you describe the basic plot of the movie?

CD: There's a young girl, Nikki, who is in college and she is very outgoing. But all of a sudden, something happens between her and her friend Joel, and she loses her ability to let go and have fun. She secludes herself from everyone. Then she meets a girl named Evie and they become friends. Through their friendship she learns something about Evie which helps her resolve the issue that she had.

JA: How did you divide up the work? Which of you had different responsibilities?

CD: Each week when we would make the little scenes, we'd take on a different role: director one week, boom operator the next week, and so on.

For the last big film, we each filled out a questionnaire about which role we wanted to take on, and we could suggest people for certain roles. The professors ultimately decided who could do what based on our requests. They split up the roles of director and director of photography (cameraman) so each person got to be the director for at least one scene. For the most part we all had a main role, and then we all took turns editing different scenes. I was assistant director/producer and that was my only responsibility because it is a much bigger role and had a lot more at stake. Alvidrez was writer/producer so she would make sure everything was consistent with her screenplay, and she could give the directors advice.

JA: Were you inspired by any filmmakers or movies in particular?

CD: We definitely have an inspiration for the film, but that would give away the plot twist, so I can't tell you. If you see it, you'll know the inspiration, because it's very obvious.

JA: Do you have any funny stories from filming?

CD: During the little mini-scenes we had one film called "Someone Farted," about a girl farting in the library. At the end of the day, we were really exhausted. It was super hot in the library and we had gone without lunch, and we got to take turns making farting sounds in the microphones. It was a release from the stressful day.

JA: What was the hardest part of this experience?

CD: The amount of time we spent on it. It was fun because we enjoyed it, but it was very time-consuming so we had to be very committed. Even before making our final film, we'd have editing sessions from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The commitment was definitely the most challenging thing.  

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