Saddleback students showcased at Newport Beach Film Festival

"Frappacino" is a short film parody about one's obsession with the Starbucks' frozen drink (YouTube.com)

“Frappacino” is a short film parody about one’s obsession with the Starbucks’ frozen drink (YouTube.com)

Orange County hosted the annual Newport Beach Film Festival this past April 23-April 30 featuring documentaries, horror films, shorts, animations, and submissions from around the globe, including nine pictures from Saddleback College students. The collegiate showcases on April 25 and 26 featured pictures from USC, Chapman University, UCLA, UCI, Orange Coast College and Saddleback College, to name a few.

“The whole department takes pride in our participation in the Newport Film Festival and contributes to the effort in a number of ways,” Media Production Specialist Mark Kruhmin said. “For instance, Matt Brodet, takes the numerous projects and creates the final version in the format required by the festival. The entire staff, including Randy Van Dyke and Scott Greene, lab techs make sure the students get the equipment they need to work on their projects. I work with the faculty in procuring the necessary equipment needed to create the projects and providing the cameras, editing equipment, lights, and all of the peripheral equipment needed to make movies.”

The projects submitted to the NBFF this year were selected by cinema, TV and radio department co-chairs Charlie Meyers and Hiro Konishi, and are a mix of abstract, dramatic, comedic and documentary pieces.

“We not only have student film projects, but have included two documentary projects from Professor Hiro Konishi’s documentary class,” Kruhmin said.

The submissions are chosen from a large pool of student productions, Meyers said.

“Between all of the classes over two semesters we have well over 100 choices to select from. Hiroshima picked two documentary films from his class and I picked from the other classes.”

Despite competing against much larger colleges, Meyers maintains that Saddleback’s program has the ability to outperform other institutions and more than holds its own at these festivals.

“In terms of technical production we’re up there with Chapman and USC,” Meyers said. “I’d say we are definitely one of the top, public, two year or four year programs in the state. Our students get hands on training from their first day.”

The student productions in the NBFF are complete works of the students alone, Meyers and Konoshi merely offer support.

“The students write, produce, direct, we’re only there to offer advice,” Meyers said. “I’ve been through production and I’m familiar with things that can go wrong and we’re here for students in that capacity, but we aren’t there telling them what the production should be. They do it all themselves.”

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