This past week, a committee made up of media arts faculty, adjunct faculty, and students from the Student Film Association met to review the 60 films submitted to BYU’s 2017 Final Cut Student Film Festival, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The pool has been narrowed and the programs will be announced later this week. Since so many great films were submitted, the committee decided to add a free matinee screening so all selected films could be shown. The time of that screening will be announced in the next few days. We invite you to attend Final Cut on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20 and 21. We appreciate the organization and support of the Student Film Association, Scott Christopherson, and Kyle Stapley to the success of the festival.
Capitalizing on our LDS culture’s fascination with musical theatre, this year’s BYU Homecoming Spectacular was a musical theatre celebration featuring Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth. The spectacular covered songs from thirteen different musicals, from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to Hamilton. There was even a wonderful number publicizing the upcoming TMA Theatre Season offering, Into the Woods, featuring MDT students Preston Taylor and Benjamin Raymant, directed by Dallyn Bayles. Kristin graciously combined forces with Gentri, Vocal Point, BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre, BYU’s Men’s Chorus, and the whole BYU Spectacular Cast and Orchestra on many musical theatre production numbers. Our own Megan Sanborn Jones got in on the dance action by choreographing The Music Man medley featuring Ms. Chenoweth and the Men’s Chorus. And adjunct faculty member Patrick Livingston contributed to the comedic writing of the script. Highlighting the legacy of LaVell Edwards, BYU Homecoming honored eleven BYU alums from each college and six additional University Service Award recipients. Kudos go to Arts Production personnel and students who put in countless hours to pull off this amazing show, including Jennifer Reed, the show’s artistic director; Bridget Benton, production stage manager; Marianne Ohran, lighting designer; and Jeff Martin, the Producer and Artist Manager who enticed Kristin to join the celebration.
The Glorious Story Emporium finished the first week of its on-campus run, with only one more week to go. The production’s stage manager, Jake Fullmer, has loved working with the cast and seeing them grow in their ability to improv under Patrick Livingston’s direction over the past six months. At first, they were very nervous about the whole prospect of performing with no script, but with the inventive props and costumes, practice, and Patrick’s encouragement and training, the cast is now able to be as excited as the audience to see where this fairytale goes each night. Although it is a Young Company show, Jake has noticed all ages engaging and laughing at the unexpected turn of events. He loves that our audiences have been willing to enter into this fun, magical fairy tale, where anything can happen. And no matter which show you go to, it’s always opening night! This is the final week of the show before the show completes its tour to schools around Utah; be sure to get your tickets here. To read more about the improv process, visit 4th Wall Dramaturgy here. For a list of performances at schools on their tour, go here.
Last Saturday, on September 30, students who had participated in 6-week Cinema over the summer got to see their films screened in the Varsity theatre. About 50 audience members attended, including student filmmakers, faculty, family and friends. Matt Seimers, a media arts alum who started the program, also attended. These films are made during the summer by teams of students. Hannah Harper, this year’s student organizer of the event, observed that, “The program is designed as an opportunity for students to go through the film production process in a less stressful environment, without fear of a grade, entering festivals, or just to experiment.” This year’s offerings from 6-week Cinema included 3 short films made in 6 weeks and 2 short commercials, made in about 4 weeks. The two commercials, “Joy in the Process” and “6 weeks with Wes,” were made by Emma Meurs (director) and Brittany Hanson (producer), and Barrett Burgin (director) and Benjamin Tyus (producer), respectively. The commercials are available online at facebook.com/sixweekcinema The films included the following.
- “Dancing,” directed by Mariah Johnson and produced by Jennifer Baker
- “The Mouth Off,” directed by Heather Moser and produced by Matthew Taggart
- “La Refacción” (“Cookie in a Jar”), directed by Luis Puente and produced by Emma Lynn