Pillbox

The Loop features innovative filmmaking

Amid the jovial chaos of Spring Carnival, the Carnegie Mellon Filmmaking Club is offering an opportunity to take a three-hour breather and gain some insight into the world of student filmmaking. The Loop: Carnival Film Festival 2012 will take place in McConomy Auditorium on Friday at 2 p.m. and will feature a selection of short student films.

The festival primarily serves to showcase and promote student films, although it’s also a tribute to the art of filmmaking. The festival’s title pays homage to the zoetrope, a device dating back to ancient China that creates the illusion of animation with a circular projection “loop” of moving images.

Beyond the historical context, the title also has a symbolic meaning: Like the rotating images of a zoetrope, the film festival cycles through different periods in the history of filmmaking, incorporating both the old and new. As the title suggests, this festival will take a back-to-the-basics approach, showcasing silent films and other tributes to movie-making techniques.

The Filmmaking Club, a student organization on campus that creates and educates about student films, has devoted many hours in preparation for organizing and hosting the event. Members of the club, who hail from a wide range of fields of study, learn key skills and work together on collaborative projects, several of which end up in the festival.

“We all come together and use our skills to make a really, really cool project,” said club president Benjamin Welmond, a senior art major with a focus in film.

Besides showcasing student work, the festival also strives to raise awareness for a little-explored activity on campus. Though the Filmmaking Club plays a central role in the festival, organizers of the event seek to expand interest in filmmaking to all students.

“It is our hope to reach out to more members of the CMU community,” said Hannah Polack, a sophomore professional and creative writing double major and public relations manager for the festival.

By attending the festival, viewers will also gain an appreciation for the extent of the work that goes into filmmaking. For the students who produce these films, making movies is often harder than it seems. “There’s so much more than just a camera and a script,” Welmond said.

According to Welmond, the filmmaking process is tedious and difficult, and many students encounter failure before creating a successful film. The results can be highly rewarding, however. “It’s hard, but eventually you’ll make it if you keep trying,” he said.

The students whose work will be on display this Friday will surely experience this sense of gratification from seeing their films on the big screen and from introducing other Carnegie Mellon students to the nature of their work in filmmaking.