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Workshop brings Hollywood film techniques, technology to students

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Workshop brings Hollywood film techniques, technology to students

 
Students in Oakland University's Cinema Studies program recently received a lesson in Hollywood film production when they took part in a RED Camera Workshop led by professional filmmakers on OU's campus. The workshop taught students how to shoot a movie scene using a RED Epic camera, a high-tech digital video camera that is gaining popularity among Hollywood filmmakers.

Since hitting the market in 2007, RED cameras have been used to shoot feature films, such as The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and installments of major franchises, including The Lord of the Rings, Spiderman and Pirates of the Caribbean. The workshop was led by OU's artists-in-residence Michael Manasseri and the Deka Brothers – Julien and Ben Decaillon.

While the scene was relatively simple in action, the logistics of the shoot were complex. The process required a dolly operator, camera operator, and focus puller, among other roles, according to Andrea Eis, associate professor of Cinema Studies and coordinator of film production.

“None of the students had ever shot with a RED camera, or pulled focus, or run a dolly before this workshop, though they had made their own films,” said Eis. “Most had already taken film production classes in the Cinema Studies program at OU.”

OU student Tayler Mandziara, who participated in the workshop, said she valued the experience of learning from professionals.

For me, the workshop was excellent,” said Mandziara, a junior Cinema Studies major. “I truly enjoyed learning every aspect that encompasses the RED camera from the Deka Brothers and Michael Manasseri – from prepping the camera to actually shooting. Overall, it was a great experience, and I am looking forward to future workshops.”

Offered through the Department of English, OU's Cinema Studies program offers courses in digital film production, documentary film production, experimental and avant-garde film, the history of film and other topics. The workshops allow students to gain vital experience beyond the classroom.

“Production workshops like these offer OU students and alumni an excellent opportunity to work closely with media professionals, while gaining valuable experience on professional-level equipment," said Dr. Kyle Edwards, director of the Cinema Studies program. “In addition, they enable participants to apply many of the concepts taught in Cinema Studies digital production and critical studies courses."

To learn more about opportunities in OU's Cinema Studies program, visit the website at oakland.edu/cinemastudies.