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Historical Facts: First time Scribendi included Film and Music as categories.
Below are our Open Media pieces from this year. Enjoy!
Metamorphosis of a Boy
University of New Mexico
This project was a very personal one made for an honors class during the spring semester of 2010. The class focused on the subject of "metamorphosis" in our culture. Everything from werewolves to sex changes was discussed, and this video was my creative project for the semester.
My grandfather died a number of years ago and the memories I have of him are quite interesting. I used to play long games of chess with him, which he would undoubtedly win. He and I shared a deep love for ice cream (Neapolitan, to be specific), and I remember him having to sneak it because he was on a diet when he got older that didn't allow him to have any. My grandma would never notice this because he would keep the ice cream in a coffee cup and act like he was just having his morning coffee. We would also kid him and say, "Grandpa, why are you eating your coffee with a spoon?"
I wanted to preserve the memories of my grandfather, including the things I learned of him after his death. When I became involved with Muay Thai kickboxing, for instance, I remember my father talking about my grandpa's days as a boxer in the Navy. Having known my grandfather in a very specific way my entire life, I wanted to preserve him with the same simplicity that he had when he used to interact with me. Those days feel like a reel of stop motion animation, in many ways.
And so, I'll always keep my grandfather close to me, and this film was an expression of that. I feel that art allows me to understand a lot about the world that I would otherwise never understand. It has allowed me to come to terms with my own mortality, to look at something that is ugly as beautiful, and most of all, to express the compassion and love that I feel for everything. This film was the expression of that compassion for my grandfather.
Scene No. 1
This is the first in a series of five short programmatic pieces. It is meant to make you feel sad and lonely, but also happy about feeling sad and lonely, because that is how I felt during the day at the seaside that inspired this piece. The form is a series of variations, and the tempo freely moves.
University of Utah
I fell in love with history before I ever fell in love with film. As a child, my exploration of the cable channels was limited to the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. I was what some may call a nerd. Although my studies have taken me in many directions, I've never lost my love of history and my interest in the stories of yesterday.
The concept for "Wastage" was first developed in a conversation between myself and Stuart W. Ford, a fellow actor and history enthusiast. We were discussing the historical importance of World War I and how, due to the advances in film, photography, radio, and newsprint that occurred after it, World War II is always viewed as having the greater historical importance. Both of us found this to be odd, as we both agreed that World War I was the most important event of the twentieth century. World War I not only defined warfare for the twentieth century but also defined diplomacy and international relations as they would be conducted for the next century and beyond.
Both Stuart and myself continued to study World War I as a topic of great interest. Eventually, however, we both managed to see that the real importance of the Great War was not what it changed personally. The tragedy of "the lost generation" and the horrific conditions endured by the soldiers while fighting for someone else's ideals made both Stuart and myself think hard about the people involved and their stories.
"Wastage" was formulated into a script after almost two years of the idea floating around in my brain. I decided to tell the story through the Young Soldier's relationship with his lover to show the warlike world he's entering in comparison to the peaceful world, and the wonderful girl, he's leaving behind. "Wastage" is a film meant to demonstrate the horrors of World War I and the people created by its terror.
After three consecutive shooting days, multiple sunburns, a day spent in a boxcar and nearly two weeks in the editing room, "Wastage" is ready to be enjoyed in its entirety.
The Night has a Thousand Eyes
University of Utah
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
with the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
-Francis William Bourdillion, 1890
In searching for the perfect poem for a composition class assignment to set music to text, I came across the above verse and instantly began composing. What attracted me particularly to this text was the depth in its meaning. "The Night has a Thousand Eyes" is a piece about the contrast and balance of opposites: life and death, day and night, dark and light, heart and mind. With the depth of the text and this idea of opposites, I felt that if I could capture this meaning in the music, I would have something extraordinary for a composition.
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Running for the Rockies
This film is the first and only film that I've made about myself, and it was a significant change form my normal style of narrative filmmaking. Creating such a personal film was a challenge for me because I generally enjoy focusing on other people's lives rather than my own.
Over two years of school in Orange County, California, my feelings toward my future, and life in general, have changed significantly. I am less sure of what I want to do today than I was as a freshman. The only thing that's certain in my mind is that I want to keep moving for the rest of my life, constantly seeking out new challenges and places.
Because filmmaking is just as much a passion of mine as the outdoors, I always bring a camera on my trips to the wilderness. I film moments that catch my eye with no way to remember my excursions. "Running for the Rockies" was the perfect opportunity to finally assemble some of these memoirs into something meaningful.
As a filmmaker, I know that Los Angeles is the place where the jobs and money reside. I have a fear that once I graduate from film school, I will stay in L.A. to get a high-paying, steady job in the film industry. To me, that's scary, because I know that I am happiest when I keep moving, whether or not this means work in the film business. I don't want to limit myself to a place to which I have no connection simply because it offers financial security. "Running for the Rockies" is a bookmark of this sentiment.
At other times in my life, I have made goals I promised to myself and then later forgot, or simply lost interest. For many years, drumming was a passion of mine that drove me like running propels me now. I wish that I had realized just how much it was a part of me before I sold my equipment. I won't make a similar mistake again. I've come to realize that an expedition from my normal routine is paramount to my own well-being, and "Running for the Rockies" is a lasting reminder of that.
Brigham Young University
As with most of my pieces, I have included subtle humor within the music of "In Context." Because this piece was written in response to a challenge from a music theory teacher, I included a theory-related "joke" within the music. During the quasi-cadenza section performed by the clarinet, I have the strings and piano play the kind of chord progression that is studied in music theory class. This progression ends on a dominant chord, but does not proceed to the tonic, leaving a feeling of incompleteness in the music while the performers simply "move on." These chords are not played again until the final note, at which point the tonic chord at last resolves the progression heard during the quasi-cadenza. This ending chord completely out of place otherwise, is nevertheless "In Context."
25th Anniversary Videos