And…Cut! PFF Gets Big Turnouts For November Workshops

We are three events into the Panther Film Festival’s Mixers & Workshops and the turnouts, so far, have been incredible! We thank you for showing such an interest in our growing film community and hope to continue to provide you with valuable networking, workshopping, and learning opportunities in the months to come.

Last week on Thursday, November 16, Panther filmmakers met inside the Center For Excellence in Writing for a general workshop and potluck. Publix subs and baked goods were enjoyed as several students pitched some wide-ranging and interesting concepts for short films including a mockumentary on a mafioso mime and an FIU-based noir centered around the infamous “Crack Cookies” from the Breezeway Cafe. Junior Jose Ramirez, who is currently set to serve as a cinematographer for one of the submissions, said, “It was exciting to see fellow Panthers eager to create and pitch their promising ideas.” Attendees were also reminded about January’s looming application deadline for people interested in submitting a film. While completed drafts of the film are not due until March 1st, applications are due January 19th so that there is ample time for preparations and scheduling. Students were also encouraged to use the Film Studies Program’s Facebook Group “Panther Film Festival Community Forum” to advertise their ideas and reach out to others for help in producing their films.

On Friday, November 17th, Professor Phillip M. Church led an incredibly engaging Acting Masterclass. Six different mini-studios were set up with 4K-quality cameras and students were split up into groups of threes and fours and told to choose whether they wanted to act in front of the camera or direct the actors in the execution of their scenes. They were then given different “Contextless Scenes” which they had an opportunity to tinker with and record in front of a camera. After rehearsals and first takes were recorded, everyone reconvened and reviewed the scenes as a class, with Professor Church offering some guidance in terms of where improvements could be made and offering praise to some of the “real” performances. Senior George Ibarra was pleasantly surprised with the workshop, claiming, “The directing portion of the workshop was particularly helpful, as it provided multiple perspectives on the world of acting.” Professor Church expressed an interest in continuing to develop the scenes further and there will likely be an Acting Masterclass II in the near future!

To wrap up the semester, we will be having one final event before Finals Week: A Screenwriting Masterclass. Dr. Glenn Hutchinson, Director of FIU’s Center for Excellence in Writing and playwright, will lead his lecture on Thursday, November 30th from 3-5 PM inside the Writing Center (GL 125). Students interested in learning the important things to consider when constructing a scene or developing a character won’t want to miss out on this masterclass.  As always, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all future Film Studies Program and Panther Film Festival-related events.

Mario Avalos is a senior at Florida International University, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, along with certificates in Film Studies and Professional and Public Writing.