Department News 09-12-16

This past weekend over 100 students attended the third annual Six-week Cinema Festival in the Nelke.  During the summer, student film makers get the opportunity to make a complete film from script to screen in six weeks.  Students hone their technical and artistic skills, learn to collaborate and meet deadlines, experiment with new ideas, and prepare for the capstone experience.  One of the purposes of the festival is to give film makers the opportunity to see and hear how audiences respond to their films.  Friday’s audience was particularly responsive and after the screening, film makers fielded questions about their production experiences.     Congratulations to the student executive producers of this event, Matt Siemers and Nick Ritter, and their trainees, Celene Anderson and Hannah Harper who will take the reins next year.  And kudos to the student teams who participated, as listed below.

  • Tip of the Iceberg – Producer: Caitlin S Walton; Director: Marshall Davis; DP: Hailey Davis; Production Design: Emma Meurs; Editor: Seth Turek; Writer: Parker Davis and Bryce Bolick
  • Hoarders Burgling Company – Producer: Brooke Thorley; Director: Steven Olson; DP: Colton Elzey; Production Design: Isabella Paul; Editor: Kaden Watson; Writer: Lizz Miller
  • Just Try It – Producer: J Celene Anderson; Director: H.M. Harper; DP: Aaron Hinton; Production Design: Erin Spencer; Editor: Elise Beers Calcotte; Writer: Daniel Schindler
  • Franks Corner – Producer: Eric So; Director: Anna Thalman; DP: Kent Thalman; Production Design: Erin Norton; Editor: Aubrey Clark; Writer: Ian Hawks
  • Commercial 1 – Producer: Maddy Purves; Director: Weber GriffithsClick here to see the commercials. 
  • Commercial 2 – Producer: Colton Elzey; Director: Taylor DavisClick here to see the commercials. 



The first weekend of Fall Semester, Divine Comedy holds auditions for any available slots in their cast.  This year, from over 100 auditioners, the troupe brought on two new cast members, Aaron Fielding and Kwaku ElAaron is in the pre-management core; Kwaku is [Anything you can fill in on these two-  What their audition sketches were about, what their majors are, that would be awesome!].  In addition to having two new cast members, Elizabeth Funk is stepping down after working with the group for 10 years, and the group has gained two new and amazing adjunct faculty advisors:  Matt Meese, a former Divine Comedian and current Studio C star, will be their artistic director;  Zach Atherton, who is finishing up his last semester of law school and founded Improv Broadway, will be the company manager.  George Nelson will continue to be the group’s faculty liasion.  Last Friday night, the troupe performed in the Wilkinson Ballroom to a packed crowd for BYU’s Fall Fest.  We are excited about the upcoming year with the new team in place.  DC’s first show of the semester will be coming up on Oct. 7 & 8.

Aaron Fielding (left) and Kwaku El. Aaron (right)


This past week, both theatre and media arts had their first student forums.  Media arts started off by their traditional introduction of the media arts faculty to the students.  Special thanks to Kyle Stapley who hosted this forum.   Theatre started off with their tradition of introducing the main stage shows for this season. We express appreciation to Jennifer Reed who hosted the forum, complete with TMA swag prizes for students (Thank you, Lindsi Neilson!).  Each director introduced the show he/she is directing.  Thanks to all the directors for taking the time and introducing their shows with such enthusiasm!


With the help of the Fulton Committee, TMA has expanded Student Fulton Funding applications to include internships and other transitional experiences for students, including funding for professional and collegiate auditions, and applications for graduate schools.  There are two new applications online, one for Professional Development and one for Research and Creative Projects.  [Professional Development:, Creative Works: Each student will designate a faculty advisor that he/she would like to work with.  That faculty member will automatically receive a copy of the application.  However, it is the student’s responsibility to set up an appointment with the faculty member to discuss the project.  If the student hasn’t met with the faculty advisor, their application will be disqualified.  Student Fulton Applications are due on Oct. 7 this year.  Copies of all applications will be sent to each area head.  After the deadline, areas will meet to discuss the applications, give them a priority ranking, and then the applications with the rankings will be sent to the Fulton Committee via Lindsi Neilson.  This process will ensure that each application has been attached to a faculty advisor and the areas have been able to review them and rank them.


George Nelson just learned from his colleagues in Poland at the Teatr Studio in Warsaw that his play Single Wide has now been translated into Polish.  His colleagues are actively working with George to find a venue to produce the play in the near future.



We congratulate Becca Thomas, a graduate of BYU’s media arts program in 2009, who has recently been short-listed as one of the directors being considered for the first female-led solo film, Captain Marvel, which is being produced by Marvel Studios. Omega Underground reports, “Director Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children) was recently revealed by Mashable’s Jeff Sneider as one of the candidates to direct Captain Marvel as stated on his show Meet The Movie Press.”  To read more breaking news, go to  MCU Exchange states, “ [Rebecca] Thomas …[is] on the rise in Hollywood. Thomas, who was once set to direct Looking for Alaska for Fox, and is set to direct The Little Mermaid for Universal, is clearly grabbing a ton of interest from various studios.”  A short list of three female directors for the film was released last week, but did not include Thomas.  However, Jeff Sneider confirmed that Rebecca Thomas is still in the mix. A year ago, The Hollywood Reporter listed Thomas as a director to watch:  With so few female directors in Hollywood, we congratulate Becca for this recognition.  Becca, who also attended Columbia, made a film while she was a student here at BYU that played at Sundance in 2009 (Nobody Knows You …) and was invited to direct her first feature soon after.


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