“It was pretty much falling apart for the last five years, because no one’s been attending to it,” club co-president and junior Markie Jo Crismon said.
This year the club is experiencing a self-described “revival,” with Crismon and co-president senior Erin Bell at the helm. The duo is determined to break the trend of inactivity that has so far marked Film Production Club.
“The two years I’ve been on campus, I was really upset that they didn’t do anything,” Bell said. “I wasn’t the only one who was interested in film. This summer, I said to myself that if there’s nothing that goes on in Film Production Club this year, I’m not going to be a part of it. And then I met a few people who felt the same.”
Crismon and Bell’s primary goal as they work to revamp the club is to create connections between interested students on campus.
“I tend to always run into people … that really crave a film community here,” Crismon said. “There’s just no outlet. We’re all kind of spread out, so this was our attempt at getting people into connection.”
This notion of forging relationships extends beyond students that have formally declared a film minor. Crismon and Bell hope to attract a wide range of students, believing that varying interests and backgrounds will strengthen the club.
“Ultimately, I’d love it if we could have chemistry majors and psychology majors and people of all sorts of disciplines coming to film club for different reasons, because that would expand the diversity we could have,” Bell said. “Not only in the club, but also in the final product.”
While the organization is still formally referred to as a “production” club, Crismon and Bell plan to expand the focus of the club to include the screening of films as well. Although they are currently sorting out some technicalities involved in obtaining copyrights, the club hopes to soon begin showing films both during club meeting and as campus-wide events.
“We’re definitely going to be screening films, getting copyrights — doing that campus wide,” Bell said. “We want to watch a film every two weeks as a group, and the off weeks will be more film production based. We’re alternating.”
Additional events for Film Production Club this year include a variety of workshops on everything from screenwriting to directing to editing to acting. Crismon and Bell are also planning to conduct a 24-hour Short Film Contest at the end of spring term, in which students will have 24 hours to write, shoot, edit and submit a short film. They hope that the contest will become a hallmark of the club and an annual event that students will look forward to.
While film production is often considered the territory of technical schools, Crismon and Bell believe that Knox’s commitment to the liberal arts is the ideal atmosphere for filmmaking.
“Two years of intense filmmaking is awesome,” Crismon said. “You get lots of technical experience, but you have no stories to tell. You aren’t taking classes that push your boundaries and make you think about how you experience life. Those students have no compelling stories. Here, we have the stories and now, we have the outlet.”
Film Production Club meets weekly on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Gizmo and is currently making efforts to relocate to the Round Room.
Editor’s note: Erin Bell is a videographer for The Knox Student.