Campus: San Francisco State University -- November 19, 2003

'DV-ants' enter San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project

"Face the music," a 10-minute short film produced by members of the College of Extended Learning's Digital Video Intensive (DVI) program, was one of the 22 films submitted as part of the San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project. The project is a competition and festival that is held in 14 cities worldwide, including New York, Paris and London, in which filmmaking teams come together for 48 hours to produce a movie-from scratch.

Along with the challenge of creating a short film from concept to finished product in two days, participants had to include three random elements drawn from a hat: a genre (comedy, drama, film noir, etc.), a character, and a line of dialogue.

The self-described DV-antsteam began pre-production at their "command central" in the Presidio even before they drew the genre film noir and wrote the script. "Face the music" is a story about an encounter between a street musician and a record label executive.

DVI is a unique track within the College of Extended Learning's Multimedia Studies program, offering intensive hands-on training in just 15 weeks. The coursework develops students' skills in cutting-edge digital video tools and techniques, as well as critical knowledge in aesthetics and production management. For those interested in quickly developing the skills for a career change or enhancement, the DVI offers a fast alternative to traditional film programs.

"I was looking for a vehicle that would give me a thorough overview of the film industry without having to go back to school for four years," says Jay Levine, 61. "DVI is giving me the overview I need so that I can talk the talk and walk the walk."

Levine, who is board president of the Oakland Youth Orchestra, promotes musical education in Oakland schools through the outreach program MUSE. He plans to produce a documentary that will promote music education as a way to reach out to underserved youth.

For student Bruce McKay, 48, whose interests include science fiction and comedy improvisation, the DVI is a training ground for creating independent feature films that combine elements not found in mainstream movie productions.

"Digital video is free from restrictions, monetary and otherwise, that celluloid presents to student and pro alike," says McKay. "I also like the way you can cut, slice, dice, and make julienne fries out of the footage you shoot."

Payvand Kadivar, 29, sees the program as a logical path for getting into independent filmmaking quickly. "The program is comprehensive and covers a wide range of areas in digital video in the least amount of time," says Kadivar.

For all, participating in the 48 Hour Film Project allows the students to measure how far they have come in the program, as well as how much farther they still have to go.

"The project is a perfect opportunity for students to integrate the skills they are honing during the course of the program," says Craig Abaya, DVI program director. "It also helps students understand what areas of movie making they want to improve, how they might maximize the film's effects better."

Movies produced for the 48 Hour Film Project in a given host city are screened in local theaters. One production is named the "Best Film" for that city. The winning film from each city will go up against all the other "Best Films" to earn the moniker of "Best 48 Hour Film of the Year."

Graduates of the DVI embark on a variety of careers, including making films for corporations and advertising agencies and working in feature films

Ligeia Polidora, Director, Public Affairs, 415/338-3053, ligeia@sfsu.edu


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