As if graduating and planning for life after college was not enough, 23 Miami University seniors took on arguably one of the most challenging capstones offered.
The capstone requires interviews to be accepted into the course and has students make a short film using expensive professional equipment.
This semester’s film is titled Unbanded and will premiere in Peabody Hall’s Leonard Theater 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The film’s main character was a homicide detective until the murder of his wife. He then became a criminology professor until he is asked to assist in a recent serial killer case.
The crew of Unbanded was responsible for organizing every step of pre-production, production and post-production. From writing a 19-page script to holding casting calls, preparing wardrobe, planning set locations and everything else involved with the three stages of production, students committed many hours to the project.
Junior Hannah Mills, publicist and key grip, said she spent nearly 20 consecutive hours filming at Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub. She said she arrived 8:30 a.m. one Sunday and did not leave until 4:15 a.m. Monday.
“I was surprised that as it slowly got in to 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., everyone was still committed,” she said. “The shots at the end were just as good as the shots in the beginning.”
The crew spent six days filming, averaging 13 hours per day, according to Mills.
Jordan Thornsburg, director of photography, said the hardest part was filming a 19-page script in the time allotted to the crew. However, passion for filming kept him going.
“Even at the end of the longest days, I was still hyped on what we were doing,” Thornsburg said. “It’s what I want to do with the rest of my life, so I was happy to be doing it.”
Director Ally Seibert said this project is probably the closest college students can get to the filming industry and is proud of the dedication of everyone, from students to professors and outside people.
David Sholle and Samuel Ribbler instruct the capstone and students have repeatedly said their help and commitment were impeccable.
“They were amazingly helpful,” Mills said. “I can’t think of another set of professors who would dedicate so much personal time.”
Sholle also teaches COM 211: Introduction to Video Production. Students in this class get an overview of operating a camera, lighting, audio, editing, scripting and working in a studio.
“Our capstone is like COM 211 on steroids,” Seibert said.
Unlike COM 211, this capstone uses much more expensive equipment obtained from Midwest Grip and Lighting. Seibert said Midwest gave them excellent discounts, which allowed them to save thousands of dollars.
The students are hoping the public will enjoy the 20-minute film debuting Friday, which will be followed by an eight-minute documentary of a day of filming. Admission is free and a reception with food will follow the screening.