Local Filmmakers have their night
Filmmakers have a common need to tell a story.
These tales can be funny, sad, angry, touching or philosophical.
They can be made with high-quality cameras and sound equipment or with mobile phones.
That’s the beauty of the annual Filmmaker’s Showcase that will be held at the Jim Santy Auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 14.
Jill Orschel, curator for the Showcase, which will celebrate its eighth year, said she has seen a wide range of filmmakers’ ages and the types of films that were submitted because of the advent of new digital equipment.
"There is such diversity and different ways to create a story these days," Orschel told The Park Record. "During this year’s showcase, we will see a mix of young kids’ and established artists’ works."
The showcase will feature 22 works that range in length from one minute to nearly eight.
"We had around 30 films that were submitted," Orschel said. "Since we’re doing it digitally, they were able to email their films in."
However, Orschel had to adjust to the new format.
"We weren’t able to just get a DVD and say, ‘We’re good to go,’" she said. "It was a work in progress, but we were able to take the submissions and choose the ones to screen."
Some of the films were made by established filmmakers such as Patrick Reddish.
"Patrick has been a cinematographer for years and has worked on some big-budget projects and car commercials for Jaguar," Orschel said.
Reddish also worked on a segment of Amanda Stoddard’s 2011 documentary, "One Revolution," a film that showcased three-time Paralympic medalist Chris Wadell’s ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
"I have been asking Patrick to submit something to the showcase for years," Orschel said.
Throughout those years, Orschel noticed that Reddish has been trying to get a little more "soulful" with his work, and the film he submitted is called "The South Sudan Eye Camp," which was edited by Stoddard.
"This film follows doctors of the Moran Eye Center who travel to Sudan to perform eye surgeries," Orschel said. "Just one surgery that only takes 10 minutes helps these people see for the first time. And people like Patrick are finding new meaning in the work they are doing."
Other films were made by newcomers and high-school students.
"Some of their films are spontaneous and are shown through the fresh eyes of a child," Orschel said. "That helps all of us older filmmakers to get out of that mindset that films need to be made in only one particular way, and that reminds us why we started making films in the first place."
There are other projects that aren’t really films, but fit within the showcase.
Julie Shipman, an award-winning winter-sports photographer, will premiere her slideshow, "A Mom’s Story."
"Julie had done some blogging and traveling and I asked if she would submit a slideshow of her travels to Spain," Orschel said. "She had taken wonderful photos of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral in Spain, and though I was blown away by the images, she wasn’t too excited about how they turned out."
A couple of years ago, Shipman’s oldest son, Hank, was an up-and-coming ski racer and was involved in a major skiing accident.
"So Julie asked if she could do something about her son’s accident," Orschel said. "She said she was still trying to make sense of it all, so I said yes."
Orschel helped Shipman on the project.
"Usually, I have my own work in the showcase, but this year I didn’t, so I decided to help Julie with hers," Orschel explained.
The Filmmaker’s Showcase has become akin to a calling for Orschel.
"I almost feel like I’m helping people give birth to their babies, or at least helping them go through whatever process they are going through," she said. "For some people, it’s just getting their films on the big screen for the first time, because a lot of kids are using YouTube and other online outlets to show their films, but there is no live experience for them."
The showcase is also a way for filmmakers to step away from their computers.
"It opens it up that we’re all in this together and a team," Orschel said. "It’s so easy to get isolated in filmmaking because you’re working on your own project and stuck at the computer."
For Orschel, personally, the Film Showcase has opened her eyes to the digital medium.
"I’m still a film lover and purist and have been the projectionist for the Park City Film Series since it has started," she said. "I still love 35mm film and I always told myself if the film series got to a point where all I had to do was push a button on a machine, I would be done.
"However, Katy Wang, the executive director of the Park City Film Series, has helped me remember that films aren’t about the format or equipment, but the stories these films tell," Orschel said. "As long as we keep that thought alive, we will be able to continue to present this event that brings people together to see these stories on the big screen."
Orschel wanted to thank the Park City Film Series for supporting the Filmmakers Showcase by providing the venue and support staff.
"They have helped me with everything it takes to pull off a screening like this," she said.
Orschel also wanted Park City and Summit County filmmakers, photographers and multimedia artists to know they can use the Showcase as a way to take them to the next level.
"I want them to take risks, and, in their processes, know this event is available for them to do just that," she said. "The Films Showcase is a celebration, and it is another place where filmmakers and the public can come and enjoy independent film."
The Eighth Annual Filmmakers Showcase will be held on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Jim Santy Auditorium in the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave., at 7 p.m. The evening will feature an array of short films made by Park City and Summit County filmmakers. Admission is free and the night will begin with a reception with refreshments. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
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