Department News (4-6-15)

BYU’s Motion Picture Studio (MPS) was opened in 1953 by Judge Whitaker.  Over the years, MPS became more closely aligned with Church AV, and BYU established a new film program in the 1980’s which was housed at the MPS.   Since that time theatre and media students have been producing their class and capstone film projects.  The department often receives requests from former students to get copies of their films.  In addition, current and prospective students have asked to see some samples of films our students have produced.  These have been difficult to copy and at times, hard to find!   In the past year and in celebration of the HFAC 50th anniversary, Kyle Stapley has been working on a website to showcase the best student films from BYU’s media arts program as well as classics from the MPS.  The oldest film on the site is from 1971, Ice Cream and Elevators.  The site also includes Johnny Lingo and The Phone Call, as well as all the award winning animation shorts.  The website will be a place to go to get an idea of the talent of BYU media arts students as all as a place where students can share their work.  A huge shout out to Kyle Stapley who put the site together.  See your favorite student films and MPS classics at studentfilms.byu.edu. “Currently, the BYU Media Arts Program and the Center for Animation have won over 22 National and Regional Student Emmys in the past 12 years making BYU one of the most well-respected Film and Animation programs in the nation.”
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Chelsea Hickman recently decided to attend University of California at Riverside’s MFA program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts for the fall 2015 year. She’ll be writing in all sorts of genres and disciplines, not only playwriting, but in screenwriting, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.  Chelsea was also awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship.  For her first year, she will have a full ride scholarship (worth $40,000 with a $9,000 stipend).  She will  have to maintain a 3.0 GPA average, take on at least 12 credits every quarter, and participate in a teaching assistantship. Every year after, her tuition will be paid for by the school and she’ll receive a $2,000 stipend every month. Congratulations, Chelsea!

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Jeff Parkin and Jared Cardon submitted a television series concept to the Sundance Institute Episodic Story Lab. Last week, they were informed that they are semi-finalists.  They will announce finalists in August. The Episodic Lab at Sundance describes opportunities available to writers in the following way:  “Over the past five years, we have witnessed an explosion in the opportunities available for writers developing episodic content for cable and online platforms. We have seen audiences and critics embrace the bold vision and complex characters that are thriving in cable drama and comedy. The internet has become both a place to pilot stories for traditional media and to create entertainment content for the growing audience watching on mobile devices.” You can read more about it here: http://www.sundance.org/programs/episodic-storytelling.

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