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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Film Directors and Cinematographers In the Making

Four WCC Student Films Featured In 2012 Ann Arbor Film Festival

Later this month, four WCC students will have the rare opportunity to screen their original films at a festival for independent filmmakers. They are participating in the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival, which runs March 27 through April 1.

Their work will be featured in a showcase of the best short films created by regional film students. It is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, at 5:00pm at the Michigan Theater. The four WCC students featured in the festival include:

  • Scott Allen, “Turn the Camera Around” — At 14 minutes, this is the longest of the WCC student submissions. It serves as a platform for talented artists who have yet to be recognized and celebrated for their vision and creativity. Allen hopes that by showcasing them that their real estate in the art world will appreciate.
  • Dan Bifano, “Forward Aikido Roll” — This two-and-a-half-minute film is a satire on the supercilious nature of a self-indulgent artist. Think Andy Warhol and his studio, “The Factory.” Although the narrative implies that it is an instructional film on how to perform a forward Aikido roll, no instructions are given.
  • Jeremy Liesen, “Listen” — This seven-minute slice of life makes viewers stop and listen to the sounds of an ordinary day. It begins with the morning sunrise and features ordinary people engaged in their ordinary routines. The resulting sounds and other naturally occurring sounds are edited to complement a rhythmic flow of images. Footage was shot around Ann Arbor in October 2010.
  • Barb Morrissey, “Belle Isle Zoo” — This three-minute film shows the decay and ruin of Detroit’s once popular Belle Isle Zoo. Once the city’s main zoo, it became a petting zoo in 1956 and was closed in 2001, left to decay. Morrissey shines her spotlight on the mixed state of decay and arrested decay that it remains in today. It was filmed in the fall of 2011.

“Dan Kier and I are extremely proud of the students who are participating in the Ann Arbor Film Festival,” said Matt Zacharias, who with Kier teaches in the WCC digital media arts program. “The festival is at its 50th year and this is our second year of having WCC student participation.

“All four of the students' video projects are a product of their talent, hard work, and tenacity. Furthermore, the works reflect the students' developing signature styles as artists—in other words, I see their personalities filtering through in the work. This is what made their projects stand out—they are unique and have flare.”

Also featured at the festival will be an interactive video installation by WCC instructor Martin Thoburn. Titled “Exquisite Motion Corpse,” the art piece will be on display in the Michigan Theater lobby throughout the festival.

It is based on the old surrealist parlor game, Exquisite Corpse, according to Thoburn. The original game has many variations and is more of a method to produce art than a game. The original idea was to collect images, words, or any content from different participants and combine them in a new way to construct a sentence, image, or story.

“A popular example is folding a piece of paper in thirds, then each artist draws a separate part of the body,” said Thoburn. “The result is always a surprise and can yield interesting combinations. My goal is to bring this artistic method into the 21st century through an engaging and interactive installation that allows the user to make the creative choices of how to mix character animations together.”

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