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Sundance Film Festival ClassAnchor

Every year, Dodge College sends a select group of 20 students to attend the Sundance Film Festival, undoubtedly the most prestigious independent film festival in the country, and arguably the world.  Because of some last minute cancellations, there are a small number of spaces still available.  The course runs during interterm, January 20-30, and awards 3 credits.  The cost for the course is about $2500-2700 per person, with a $300 non-refundable deposit, which includes all travel and housing, plus tickets for 10 screenings. 

To apply, provide these 5 pieces of info in an email to Professors Jeff McCracken and Andy Lane: (yes, submit an email to both professors)

  1. Name
  2. Class
  3. Major / Emphasis
  4. Contact: Cell phone, email
  5. Essay (max 1 page) "Explaining why you are interested in attending the Sundance Festival and how you expect it to further your Dodge College studies and/or your future career. For example, you could approach your essay from the perspective of an indie director seeking the festival’s seal of approval, a screenwriter wishing to see top films from other countries, or a publicist representing corporate sponsors."

This is a great opportunity to visit the most celebrated American film festival; take advantage of others students' changed schedules, and grab a spot now!  Questions?  Email Derek Horne.


Destination: Africa

We are now accepting applications for the 2011 Destination: Africa program.

This exclusive program whisks a small group of 16 Dodge College students off to Ghana, in West Africa, for a summer of intensive documentary-making.  The highly competitive course is actually a series of 3 back-to-back classes, so while the program is open to both graduate and undergraduate students, you must ensure you can accommodate the course load before applying (Spring 2011 graduates are unfortunately out of time).  The course progression is: Documentary Production (Spring semester), International Documentary Production (throughout the Summer), and Documentary post-Production (Fall semester).

To get a better idea of the program, check out the films produced last year, and explore photos on the Flickr set.

In addition to the tangible benefits that come with exploring new areas and meeting new people, and the intangible benefits of honing your skills as a documentarian, this extended course is also funded by scholarships, meaning, if you are selected to participate, all costs are covered.  Now, here's how to apply:

Send Professor Jeff Swimmer an email with the following information:

1) Name

2) Class and GPA

3) Previous documentary experience

4) A brief essay explaining "Why I'm Suited For This Program"

Good luck at all the applicants!


Location Filmmaking Projects

From a pool of more than 75 entries, the 10 semifinalist screenplays have been selected for the location filmmaking program 2011!  Very soon, you'll be able to find these screenplays in full on Blackboard, within the Location Filmmaking 2011 link.  Check them out, and get involved – this is a great opportunity for undergrads to connect with the upperclassmen, and for grad students to mine some of that raw talent in the undergrad classes.  Of course, the program itself offers a very high-intensity, focused experience, allowing you to concentrate fully on one project at a time, unlike the normal school year with its need to manage several projects and classes at once.  The location films continue to be some of the most outstanding works produced throughout the academic year.

3D Location Film Semi-Finalists:

After The Accident by Jef Johnson
Cottontail by James Humphreys
A Gift of Maggie by Ben Kepner
Harvest by Turner Jacobs
A Smart Fly by Brandon Wade

VFX Location Film Semi-Finalists:

A Good Man by Gary Alvarez
A Nervous Wreck by Jonathan Thompson & Norm Leonard
Prey by David Thompson
Synesthesia by Cyrus Kowsari
Time Capsule by Ira Parker

The next stage is for creative teams to come together and apply for production positions.  From the detailed email students received last week:


Each creative team applying must include a director, producer, cinematographer, and/or VFX supervisor or Stereographer and should also include an editor, production designer, and sound designer. Each key creative may be part of only one of the applying creative teams.

The creative teams can include a mix of undergraduate and graduate students. In fact, this collaboration is encouraged and creative teams consisting of both graduate and undergraduate students will be given special consideration in the selection process.

Undergraduate juniors and seniors and 2nd-year and 3rd-year graduate students are eligible to direct, produce, or act as cinematographers. All other key creatives may be drawn from the entire Dodge community. In no way should Location Filmmaking jeopardize a student’s undergraduate senior thesis, graduate second-year, or graduate thesis obligations. Directors and producers applying must be fully available and completely committed to Location Filmmaking during the months of December and January. Therefore directors and producers who will shoot senior thesis, graduate second-year, or graduate thesis after the first of December and before February 15 are not eligible. All other key creatives must be fully available for the entire month of January.

All creative team members must be prepared to enroll in the interterm Location Filmmaking class and attend all required meetings in November and December. Editors and sound designers must also be prepared to enroll in an advanced editing workshop class during spring term 2011.

Before Monday, November 1 at 5pm, the creative teams should turn in their application to the 3rd floor Administrative office.

The creative team’s application should contain a list of the members of the creative team with contact information as well as the team’s first choice of screenplay to produce and an alternative screenplay(s) they wish to produce. They must submit two choices, 1st and 2nd. The application should also include a DVD reel of each of the key collaborator’s best work.

The faculty will choose one creative team for each script. The semi-finalist creative teams will be announced via e-mail on Wednesday, October 20. These teams will then have till November 11 to address artistic and production issues. They should further develop their scripts as well as plan their productions logistically and creatively.

On November 11 & 12, the semi-finalist creative teams will pitch their project to the Location Filmmaking faculty. The creative teams should be prepared to present their creative concepts for the production in a brief (approximately ten minute) presentation to faculty and be ready to answer the faculty’s questions. They should also bring with them to the pitch, three copies of a pitch package which should minimally include preliminary budget, schedule, crew list, location information, as well as script analysis, character analysis, and visual reference.

On November 15 the final creative teams and screenplays will be announced via e-mail.