6 short films and endless possibilities to debut at 2016 Spring Film Capstone Showcase

ASU’s School of Film, Dance and Theatre at the Herberger Institiute for Design and the Arts will host the 2016 Spring Film Capstone Showcase at the Paul V. Gavin Playhouse on Friday. 

The “capstones” are senior film students’ most demanding project, representing a year's worth of work.

Jason Scott, assistant professor at the School of Film, Dance and Theatre and this year’s host, said the capstones are the “culminating event of their academic life.”

“They submit it to the festival, and a jury looks at cuts of the films,” Scott said. “The ones that are deemed of good quality are selected to show at the festival.”

He said this year, there will be six short films and one editing sample reel, all differing in genre and tone, from funny to dramatic, and from comedy to drama and science fiction.

Scott said one of his favorite entries was a short film called “Receiver” by film student Casey Clark, which tells the story of a man with a speech impediment who works at a suicide hotline.

“It’s a very poignant examination of how people listen and speak to each other in times of crisis,” he said. “It’s a little bit funny, it’s a little bit quirky, it’s a little bit sad, but it’s a very unique exploration of how people connect.”

Academic advisor at ASU's film school Corey Carlson said technology has had an enormous impact on how students, and the industry as a whole, approach filmmaking. He said unlike the past, when filmmaking equipment was expensive and had limited accessibility, today everyone who owns a smartphone is carrying filming equipment in their pocket.

“As technology grows, it really opens the door to anyone with any ounce of creativity,” Carlson said. “It removes that exclusivity of what film has traditionally been.”

Associate professor Gregory Bernstein said graduating seniors use their capstone as stepping stones for future careers in the entertainment industry.

“We have a student who is now working at ESPN in Bristol, (United Kingdom),” he said. “We’ve had students go to work at agencies, production companies and various different aspects of the film industry.”

One film to come out of the Spring Capstone Film Showcase is “Focus,” a film by ASU alumni Matt Chesin. Since appearing in the 2014 Capstone Showcase, the short film has been screened at film festivals across the country.

Although the Film and Media Production program is relatively young (established in 2005), Bernstein said the students who attend are hardworking and passionate about the art of filmmaking.

“We have tremendously talented students who are really hungry for a chance and an opportunity to show what they can do,” he said. “I have absolutely no doubt that a lot of our students are going to go on to successful careers in the entertainment industry. There’s no question about it.”

The Spring Film Capstone Showcase will be held at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse at Tempe campus on Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5 and are available through the Herberger Institute’s box office.

Related links:

ASU talent to premiere alongside star-studded indies at Phoenix Film Festival

ASU Film Spark ignites students' dreams of making it in Hollywood

Reach the reporter at idickins@asu.edu or follow @sailormouthed92 on Twitter.

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