By Brooke Morton | Photos by Scott Cook
Surely no filmmaker sets out to create a masterpiece intended for viewing on the smart phone or tablet. Yet that’s increasingly how younger generations are watching films.
And they’re missing out.
On the big screen, the nuances of a film can be witnessed. Appreciated. Instilling this wider appreciation for films—and film festivals—is the driving factor behind a Rollins course that asks students to engage with 50 to 65 films each spring.
Film As Art: The Florida Film Festival
- Maurice “Socky” O’Sullivan, professor of English
- Denise Cummings, associate professor of critical media and cultural studies
On April 23, the students attended the Enzian Theater’s screening of Back to the Future, followed by a question-and-answer session with actress Lea Thompson.
“To hear Lea talk about the acting process gave the students insight into the malleability of the filmmaking process,” says Cummings. “The actors are scripted, but they also need to be improvisational.”
Thompson shared with the audience how awkward it was to film the scene inside the car outside the school dance. The angle was tricky, and the content itself was rather awkward. But the actors, despite countless takes, made it work.
The experience of seeing the film on a big screen revealed so much more than the students had previously observed.
“Of course they all knew the story,” says Cummings, “but on the big screen, the film looked so beautiful and it was so immersive. They became that much more engaged. The takeaway for many was to be able to go back and realize the value of continuity editing. A lot of them had never thought about continuity editing, character action, or lighting, and that’s what we do—we ask them to take a look at how all the parts come together as a whole.”