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Isaac Smith, a senior digital filmmaking major talks about the upcoming Student Film Screening

Eastern New Mexico University
ENMU Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking

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 Isaac Smith, a senior digital filmmaking major. Isaac, thank you for joining me.

SMITH: Thank you, and it's a pleasure.

GENTRY: Everyone is excited about the Student Film Screening on May 11th, so how does it feel to be part of the first in-person film event since 2019?

SMITH: It feels really awesome, actually. It's actually my first time being a part of the screening like at all. For most of the films, I've helped out with several other films on the screening. But this is the first time where I've directed a movie, and I've like, been in it. I've acted in it, and kind of just everything has been done by me pretty much. I came up with a shot design. I've edited everything, and you know, acted, directed all that. So-

GENTRY: Well, finally. Right.

SMITH: Yeah,

GENTRY: It's nice before you graduate, right? Just a week from Saturday, you will walk across the stage, and congratulations, by the way.

SMITH: Thank you.

GENTRY: So, can you share a favorite ENMU memory?

SMITH: Oh, man. Just one?

GENTRY: Well, it's a short program that we have here.

SMITH: Yeah, honestly, like, just being on at least like prior to COVID just being on sets with the people that I got to know over the years and just like befriending everyone and then just everyone having a good time, and just, you know, we're all making movies. We're all sort of having fun, and it's really casual, but sort of professional at the same time; and so, I've done, like at least a dozen of those throughout the four years. And I think just- just that really is one of my favorite parts of being here.

GENTRY: The finale on the film screenings on May 11th is, Can You Hear Me? Here's a chance to plug your Senior film.

SMITH: Yes. So, Can You Hear Me? is my most recent film. It is about a man who's played by myself, basically just fed up with life, fed up with everything. And so, he's quite literally surrounded in darkness. It's a black and white film. And so, as the movie progresses, it gets a little bit brighter and brighter and so. He runs- Throughout, after-. How do I say this? He counters a spirit, a hollow spirit. You can see right through the ghost. And this ghost sort of guides him towards this window that's just full of light, and he's skeptical of it. And so that's sort of that's like the main plot of the film. I don't want to give too much away.

GENTRY: Right.

SMITH: But that's sort of the main the idea of it.

GENTRY: There's a great variety in the films this year. Have you watched any of the other six short films in their draft or final versions?

SMITH: I have not, actually.


SMITH: I'm very curious. I have only heard things.

GENTRY: Take my word for it; there's a lot of variety in that, of course. Rick Shepardson and John Barr are your main film faculty, Neal Rutland. And they were telling me that there's a lot of variety and some great stuff. So, you and I can enjoy them as they unveil themselves.

SMITH: Yeah, I can't wait. I'm excited for.

GENTRY: The film program added a new class this year, DFM senior project. How did this class aid your development?

SMITH: It definitely like gave me a chance to sort of just show what I've learned over the years and just what I've what I know and what I've, you know, accomplished over the last four years of being here. So, and it's really cool. It's sort of- You got us. You can work it like your own pace sort of thing and just, you know, you just have to show progress. And so, Mr. Rutland's been helping me a lot with my senior project, and we meet up like every other week working on Pro Tools, just learning how to use the software. Coming up with different sound design ideas and all sorts of editing and stuff like that. So, it's been- It's been really cool. It's been fun.

GENTRY: Well, you could do worse than learn filmmaking in New Mexico. Are your family, is your family coming to commencement?

SMITH: Yes, they are. My mom's flying down on Thursday, and my dad's flying out on Friday.

GENTRY: Alright, and where are they coming from?

SMITH: My dad lives in Tennessee, and my mom lives in Vermont.

GENTRY: That is quite a trip. Well, thank you, Isaac Smith, for coming on today's show.

SMITH: Of course.

GENTRY: The 2022 Film Screening takes place on Wednesday, May 11th. A pilot script reading takes place at 5:00 PM, and then the seven Bite-sized films begin at 7. Again, that's May 11th at the University Theater Center in Portales. I'm Jeff Gentry. Thanks for listening on KENW, your Public Radio Network.

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  • Join ENMU College of Fine Arts Dr. David Steffens each week on "Great Arts at Eastern," as he interviews artists, actors, entertainers and musicians about their craft and events they produce at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. "Great Arts at Eastern" airs once a week about 12:35 p.m. MT on Thursdays on KENW–FM.This program also is available online by clicking the title of an individual episode listed below.
  • Host of Great Arts at Eastern