The recently formed film co-op is an opportunity for many disciplines to come together - one of the College's overall goals. According to the founder, College senior Christopher Zalla, the co-op "integrates acting, photography, sound production, design, lighting, costume and set design." Christopher had the idea for the co-op last summer and started it last semester.
Although there are currently 100 members officially signed up, meetings have a turnout of about 30. Considering students' notorious lack of enthusiasm for leaving their dorms, Zalla considers this number encouraging. Students might be attracted to the film co-op because of its unique focus: making films and not watching them. On average there are about 10 members working on a film at once. Junior Haakon Faste said, "Although many people have good ideas, very few have the determination to go through with writing a script."
After buying used cameras, sound and editing equipment out of the $22,000 budget, the co-op produced three large scale projects. According to its members, the biggest film produced by the co-op was entitled Disquietude and is still not completely finished. Faste was the assistant director to Zalla. His job included arranging places to shoot with the College administration.
Several technical difficulties have challenged the co-op's progress. For instance, the group had tried to get a bus and to pay for a driver from Lorain County, but ended up not being able to do this. Another problematic scene occurred in the alley behind the Apollo Theater, due to cords and wires being everywhere for lighting. Because of this, the crew blew out a circuit. Luckily, Faste was able to obtain permission to use a cherry picker in order to take a 30 foot aerial shot.
"The co-op is a wonderful resource," senior Amy Strada said. She and senior Jesse McLean worked on a film last semester whose plot revolved around a clown. There is wide support for the co-op on campus, not only from students, but also faculty and staff. Fred Zwegat, Director of Audiovisual Services, has given strong support to the co-op and is a valuable resource for students with questions about filming.
Due to the difficulty in finding film in this area, the co-op's supply of film is an invaluable resource for its members. The 20 rolls of eight millimeter film were popular among beginners with no film experience and were used quickly. It was more time consuming however to use the 16 millimeter film which explains why there were only three large projects. After editing 45 minutes of film, the film may be reduced to ten minutes or even less.
When he started the co-op, Zalla had hopes that it would lead to a curriculum in film. Although this goal has not been realized yet, the art department is sponsoring a private reading class to introduce 16 millimeter film which will be taught by Zalla. Students can earn one to three credits for taking the course.
For students who want to get involved in the film co-op, there will be signs posted sometime next week. The co-op holds weekly meetings and workshops to teach students how to use the cameras. People who have had no prior experience with film making are welcome to join and learn about the process of filming and experiment on their own.
Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 14; February 14, 1997
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