Lights! camera! action! .. at USC Film school

Midterm Progress Report

.. with both 507 profs yesterday. They said the scope & reach of Wendy's films are most impressive. They like to see students challenge themselves. Also noted her technical skills, especially sound-design & editing. Weak area is narrative clarity. 

In determining each students progress, profs said they see every student as an individual, & evaluate each in terms of their (own) potential. ".. but in terms of potential," they said, "we see you at the top," and encouraged her to continue challenging herself. 

While chatting with students that are not in her group (of 17), Wendy said that other students were not happy with how their profs approached their mid-term progress reports. Andrew says their group felt totally bashed by their profs. They didn't feel encouraged at all. 

Andrew said their profs told students that they need to get on the stick - that their films need  a lot of work. Wendy's production profs are Gary & John. Other groups have different profs. 

Sound midterm yesterday. One question was:

Q: You're sitting in a sushi restaurant when a 100-decibel, 24 KHz alarm goes off. What do you do?

Correct answer is: nothing - because human hearing is only good up to 20 KHz (at best) - no matter how 'loud' it is (decibels) . But that was the only question she blew (out of 24). She said, "Other than that, I smoked it." She enjoys designing & editing the audio for her movies, but the technical are a challenge for her. She needs to spend time studying Sound.

For each film, the profs, TA & other students, write a critique, or "crit" of each film. Each crit contains:

Crits are then routed to the TA, who gives them to student showing the film. 

Biggest challenge remains the sheer volume of work, & the associated sleep-deprivation. 

Wendy says, during the time they're loading her film in the projector, "my heart feels like its gonna beat out of my chest." And when they're when they're watching it, "I feel naked."

More often now, she thinks in terms of making movies, especially when we go places. For example, she spied an old, 70's, canary-yellow Dodge Challenger in the parking-lot at El Toritos today (yummy $0.99 fish tacos for happy-hour). She scribbled on a small piece of paper, "I'm a Film school student & would love to use your car in a film. If you think you might be interested, call Wendy at ...." She slipped the note under the windshield wiper blade.

Next crisis is a 5-to-10 page script that's due tomorrow for the screenwriting class.

Shooting for film 4 this weekend. She'll have an extra week for this project cuz of spring break. The next film will be a tribute to her brother, Van, who passed away suddenly while she was making her first films as an undergrad. Her prof liked the idea, and coached her to have a element of drive thru it - not simply a smorgasbord of scenes. Should be a progression through the piece.

Wendy has Studio 'C' reserved at USC next Tuesday for her first ever auditions. She put an ad in Backstage West magazine. Calls have started coming in already. She's a bit nervous cuz she never did this before.

Next -> Prof #2 Puts the Smack Down

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