What are film students up to?

We often hear about engineering projects, astronomy research, and the like. But what do Calvin’s film production students do all semester? This week, Chimes took a look at four students and their teams who are working to produce a series of student films this semester for COMM-351. 

Mistakes Were Made

Senior Kayla Cooper is directing her second film for 351, “Mistakes Were Made.” The film follows a “really awkward guy wanting to ask a girl out.” Adrian van Stee stars as Pat, the nervous would-be-lover of Abigail, played by Maddie Schilthuis, the reluctant focus of his affection.

Cooper explained her creative approach: “We wanted… the classic montage biking shot in the morning as the sun’s coming up, and then the color scheme goes from indie-romcom to more musical vibes as things spiral out of control.”

Selective Service

Noah Shin is directing “Selective Service,” a period piece which takes place in the 1960s. This story focuses on a young scholar, played by non-Calvin student Austin Rios, who is faced with the decision of a lifetime: accept his letter from the selective service system to fight in Vietnam, or burn it in front of his peers. 

From Shin’s statement of intent: “I picked the script because it speaks about the valuable lesson of life and its fragilities.” Shin seeks to show the conflict between the hard-and-fast order of the draft letter and the youthful world of social resistance.

Under the Influence

“Under the Influence,” directed by Connor Durow, follows overnight viral sensation Macy Adams, played by Annake Vande Brake. The social media star is quickly picked up by legendary influencer Caroline Sutton, played by non-Calvin student Sarena Rae, and trained to become even more famous. 

Seven shooting days are planned for this project. “Our crew has worked well together,” Durow said. Most of the shoots are taking place next week and will be mostly close to campus, according to producer Laurel Brunsink. 

Photo courtesy of David Swartzentruber
“The Drop-Off” utilized the Hollywood technique of pulling car on a trailer.

The Drop-Off

Maxwell Stallings is directing “The Drop-Off,” the adaptation of his own screenplay that he wrote for the communication department’s screenwriting class. This short centers around a boy trying to pass his driver’s training road test administered by a troubled instructor played by local comedian Stu McCallister.

While shooting last weekend, Max and his crew pulled the car behind a U-Haul trailer. This allowed them to film the characters inside the car without the actors having to worry about driving, with the camera and other equipment being operated from the bed of the truck.

This article has been edited to reflect that the lead role in “Mistakes Were Made” was recast.