Student Films Gain Recognition, Acclaim

While most students have important dates, such as tests and papers, in their planners, junior Nathaniel Winckler has an extra category of dates to remember: film festivals.

twirl%20interior.jpgWinckler’s short animated film, “Twirl,” has been accepted at five different film festivals this fall, with another festival scheduled for late next summer. “Twirl” debuted at Asbury’s own Highbridge Film Festival last spring and now continues on to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, the Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival and the Louisville International Festival of Film, among others.

“‘Twirl’ has already gone way farther than I thought it would ever go,” Winckler said. “The original purpose of creating ‘Twirl’ was to learn how to create an animated short. Once we realized we actually had a good short to work with, we started looking at other film festivals. This effort was really to create exposure for us as young filmmakers; this is the best resumé anyone can ask for!”

“Twirl” is the story of a music speaker who receives a little help from a friend in order to keep its figurative toes tapping. The original soundtrack was composed specifically for the piece and performed by (ahem), an a capella singing group of Asbury students. Students also helped by recording and mixing the music, producing the film, drawing storyboards and myriad other tasks.

“Everyone on our team learned a lot,” Winckler said, “but I think I learned the most. Probably the most important thing I learned as director is to know what you want. People can do their jobs better if they know what you, as director, are looking for.

“I’ve also come to know that the story is every thing,” he continued. “If you don’t have a good story, you don’t have a good film; it’s as simple as that. Do everything you can to get the story as entertaining and as meaningful as possible, and you will be on your way to creating an amazing film.”

Another project from Asbury’s film department, “My Brother, My Brother,” has received awards, as well: an Award of Merit from the Accolade Competition and an Award of Merit in the short film category of The Best Shorts Competition. The results of the Fall 2011 Film Production class, “My Brother, My Brother” was produced and crewed by students learning the ropes of film production in a hands-on model. Professor Josh Overbay directed the piece and partnered with a student to write the script.

“The idea is that students have an understanding of every position, not just the main ones, and serve in a key position,” Overbay said. “I really wanted this project to become a beacon for other students to know that it’s possible to tell a story and tell it well, with high production value. I wanted to raise the bar, and the students did, too.”