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Slickrock 2021: Minarets Filmmakers Vs a Pandemic

Submitted by Ryan Abner and Molly Smith, Student Journalists for Minarets Press

As the deadline for Slick Rock film submissions creeps up on March 12, problems are beginning to surface with the practicality of students trying to create content during lockdowns and the overall pandemic.

While students not being able to create exactly what they want isn’t a substantial issue on its own, completing the required Slick Rock projects that Minarets and other schools require for a grade is a problem.

“Making a Slick Rock film over quarantine presented a huge challenge. Since we are not physically in school, it’s significantly harder to meet up with your group and film,” said junior Nick Sultana, a Media II student. “Working remotely also limits our access to equipment that would normally be easily accessible in the media lounge, limiting us to only using the gear that we own, which for some people is none.”

However, some student directors have a more optimistic view of the challenges that the unorthodox situation has created.

“Competitive filmmaking is inherently a collaborative sport. You need cameramen, actors, editors, all sorts of people to contribute,” said senior Johanna Ziegler, the previous overall winner of the 2020 Slick Rock festival. “The question I’ve really had to ask myself this year is, ‘How do I pull off an entire film production in my house with no one here to help me?’ Ultimately, I’ve had to scrap or adapt my ideas, rely on my friend to do the bulk of the acting, and get creative on how I build my shots and setting. No one wants to watch a redundant storyline about a kid going to online school for three and a half minutes, so I’ve had to really think outside the box. It’s been hard but also rewarding to see what new ideas I can create within these COVID parameters.”

In previous years, the Slick Rock film festival has always been a substantial part of filmmaking classes across the Central Valley. As the largest student film festival in the area, it’s become a platform for high school student filmmakers in cities like Fresno, Tulare, and Visalia to create commercial and story-driven content and share it with local experts. The festival even offers a chance for competitors to win filmmaking gear that students might not have otherwise been able to get on their own.

Similar to last year, the film festival will look different than it is traditionally hosted. The festival’s winners will be announced over a thirty-minute broadcast on ABC 30, a disappointment to many student filmmakers who normally would’ve been shuttled to a live premiere and awards show, complete with limos and a red carpet photo shoot.

Read the original story here: https://minaretspress4.wixsite.com/minaretspress/post/slickrock-2021-film-makers-vs-a-pandemic

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