Campus Movie Fest (CMF) is an organization that advertises itself as providing the world’s largest student film festival and they have arrived at USF! The Campus Activity Board (CAB) collaborated with this organization to bring CMF to campus.
CMF gave aspiring filmmakers one week to film and edit their five-minute length movies. However, they also provided students with Macbook Pros equipped with iMovie and Final Cut Pro software. Students also received Panasonic HD cameras and had access to on-campus technical support.
At least fifty teams originally signed up to participate in CAB’s first fall Campus Movie Fest. The top sixteen films will be featured on October 13 at USF’s red carpet screening in Presentation Theater. A panel of judges will be present at the event to select films they consider worthy to compete in CMF’s larger Hollywood student film festival. The films that win in Hollywood will have the chance to win a cash prize, have their film featured on Virgin America flights and the Short Film portion of the Cannes Film Festival.
Junior Clement Bauer participated in the competition. He said the process to create the film was very fast but that he counted with a solid crew. USF student Tabish Habib helped him develop the concept for the film as well as the script and the storyboard. His cinematographer, student Karim Iliya helped to shoot the film which was filmed at Balmy Alley in the Mission district. The actors for the film were Ben Ambrogi and Joe Zoloski.
Bauer said he met Habib when they decided to collaborate on the film and that he didn’t know any of the other crew members previous to the creation of the film. However Bauer said, “It’s great to bring a group of people together that are passionate about film. Everyone is constantly throwing out ideas and suggestions. You can tell that the group wants to make something great. “
When asked if Bauer had previous film experience he said, “A little bit. I participated in Campus Movie Fest a few years back while working an internship at Cannes International Film Festival. My team won third place.”
Nevertheless, Bauer said he learned some lessons working on this recent film. One of those lessons was the unpredictability of weather. Bauer said, “It only rains 10 days out of the year in SF but of course it decided to rain on the day we went out to shoot. We had to insure that our equipment was protected while out on our shoot. Everyone made it out alive, including equipment.”
Bauer said he also learned about the difficulty of fulfilling the ambitious idea of making a film in a week. The task proved to be especially hard since Bauer had to also balance homework and work.
Regarding the process of the film, Bauer said the shooting was done on Sunday morning and afternoon. Bauer and Habib edited the film Sunday night and most of Monday in order to meet the Tuesday deadline. Bauer said that CMF had specified in their requirements that any footage shot outside of the festival’s one-week filming timeline would disqualify the participant’s film.
Regarding the plot of the team’s movie entry, Bauer said the film consists of “two mildly intelligent individuals who never understood the value of good morals.” Bauer added that although the characters have been punished on several occasions, they continue their “sinful ways” in hopes to one day prosper financially.
Bauer said he is anxious about whether or not his film will be featured on October 13. Three films will be sent to Hollywood. That includes films chosen for Best Picture, Best Comedy, and Best Drama. When asked about what it would mean for his team’s film to be selected to compete in Hollywood he said, “I cannot even fathom what that would feel like.”