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Great Arts at Eastern talks with Rick Shepardson about the upcoming ENMU Film Festival.

GENTRY:  And now Great Arts at Eastern. From the Portales Campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I'm Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, Your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is filmmaker Rick Shepardson of Eastern's Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking.

SHEPARDSON:  Thank you for joining me today.

GENTRY:  Alright, well, thank you for having me and giving us a chance to talk about the screening that's coming up. Right, and so your students have successfully fulfilled their safety goals. You have taught classes successfully, and next Wednesday, these students get to show off the fruits of their labor. What can we expect at next week's student film screening?

SHEPARDSON:  Well, it's going to be interesting. There's going to be a lot of things that we haven't seen before at previous screenings because we had to accommodate for the pandemic. So along with the student films, the junior and senior films which I’ll get to. We have projects from my experimental class that actually came right after the lockdown happened last semester. And then also projects from Professor Neil Rutland’s music video class that transpired last semester. There actually the selfie music videos where students had to produce- conceive, produce, shoot and edit music videos that were just selfies. And then in my class, my experimental class. It was actually a project called: The Digital Degrade. Where students would photograph and rephotograph themselves over 200 times. And it a really interesting piece of video art came out of that in the perfect, perfect project for stay-at-home orders. And then, yes, you mentioned safety rules. We had to create a lot of new protocols that were based not only on the industry- film industry-. a lot of people that I know in the film industry helped us out. But also, we had to modify those rules for- because in the ENMU obviously doesn't have the ability to test crew members two times a week like they did in the film industry. So, we had to modify it quite a bit. And Professor Rutland and I came up with like a five-page document of these protocols that students had to adhere to. And they adhere to quite outstandingly. I never had to remind anybody to pull up their mask or anything like that.

GENTRY:  Right yeah, and so the students have created enough product for a screening. Which is really outstanding. 'cause- isn't it-. you told me that normally you have at least a dozen people on a set, and you were limited.

SHEPARDSON:  Oh yes. So that was one of the first things is. And a dozen- that could actually be small because you have these entire departments that are dedicated to every facet of the moving image. Which there's a lot there's the Grip and Electric Department who contribute to you know- light and shadow we like to say. And then there's production design and they- the art Department and they kind of help with wardrobe. And I'm not getting the terminology exactly right. But wardrobe and what's in front of the camera. And you know that could easily be at least two people per Department. Which could easily add to like 20 people just on his student film, and you just can't have that number of people in the same place. So we reduced it to just five people could be on set at any time. And that actually involves includes the actors as well. So usually, they would just be 2 actors to a movie. And then somebody to run the camera. Somebody to direct. And then somebody to run sound.

GENTRY:  And you're limited there to about five people then.

SHEPARDSON:  Exactly, that was the maximum then.


SHEPARDSON:  So, we also that limited the equipment of course because you can't have people around moving around these huge lights and things like that but-.

GENTRY:  Right great well, tell me about Jackson Cooperman's film.

SHEPARDSON:  So, Jackson Cooperman's film on-. I'm not sure we may be screening that? That was actually from a film last year, and what had happened is he managed to finish shooting before lockdown. And then he just dedicated the rest of his time to editing. Jackson Cooperman was a senior from 2019-2020, and he graduated that year. But then he really dedicated to perfecting the picture editing and sound design. And he's actually had some festival success as well. He's one of those students that despite graduating and lockdown. We have another student Sidney Henderson who actually just had her first- it's a second unit director photography gig, where because of COVID, she was actually asked to shoot one actor scene in New York or in California while the rest of the crew is in New York. And another one of our seniors who graduated last year, Clayton Malden, just started working on Better Call Saul season six. 

GENTRY:  Great, Well Rick Shepardson, our listeners can watch your student films next Wednesday at 7 pm.  And to register, they just have to head to enmu.edu/theatrelive, and then they'll be able to watch. So, thank you, Rick, for joining me on Great Arts at Eastern.

SHEPARDSON:  OK, thank you.

GENTRY:  And thanks to everyone for listening on KENW, Your Public Radio Network.

ENMU Film Screening

See student works-in-progress, pandemic edition!

May 12, 2021 07:00 PM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)