Students from Wichita State's media arts program and the School of Performing Arts are coming together to produce a feature film called “A Long Story Short,” which has a mystery and suspense story line.
The cast and crew includes theater majors from the School of Performing Arts and filmmaking majors from WSU's new Bachelor of Applied Arts program.
The students benefit from the chance to collaborate with each other and learn new aspects of their chosen field. There are students helping with sound, photography, lights and setting up equipment.
“We've got people that are helping with sound, photography, lights, setting up equipment. Whatever is really required can change from day to day,” Jones said.
"Everything that we do is applied learning,” Jones says. “What this does is really act as a lab to take those things that they're learning and put it into an actual project.”
Jones said he spoke with an alum who graduated with a theater degree a few years ago. When he asked what the learning curve was going from theater to film, she said it was steep.
“That just hit me: Our students should leave knowing that if they go somewhere and they audition and there's a camera, this is what they do, this is what they don't do,” Jones says. “The hope of course is that, yes, absolutely they will leave here and be able to jump into something somewhere.”
Max Frish a senior studying filmmaking at WSU, is director of photography. Frish has gained a lot of hands-on experience that will come in handy as he looks to further his career.
“Being able to work with cinema cameras and creating those images is extremely helpful,” Frish said. “Getting out of your comfort zone and just doing it is the best way to learn to do film.”
While Frish is getting experience in filmmaking, he is also getting the feel for what being a leader entails.
“Being able to orchestrate multiple moving parts, multiple actors that have different schedules who are full-time students working on a film…” Frish said. “Communicating with them and what the director wants and his expectations of what we need and what the reality is can translate to picture.”
This experience is giving Frish more perspective on what he wants to do later on. Working on a film like this will be an asset for him in his future career.
"It is a first step into something that I want to go into,” Frish said. “I personally don't see myself going into the Hollywood of film. I would love to be a European reporter. I love to travel. I've gone a lot of places and met a lot of interesting people. Meeting those people and the stories they've told me has kind of driven me to become a video storyteller.”
The crew is expected to release the film sometime in April at the Welsbacher Theatre and will be open to the public.