The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

New independent film society open to aspiring filmmakers

Before the mid-90s, independent film was nearly absent in box office receipts and at the Academy Awards. Recently, however, independent films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Napoleon Dynamite” have made it to the top of the box office and have received Academy attention.

“We felt that there was an absence of films on campus.”
James Boland

And now, there will be a student organization devoted to independent films at UW-Eau Claire.

On Sunday, Eau Claire students and faculty advisers came together to formulate a constitution to gain recognition by the Student Senate as The Guerrilla Film Society.

The Guerrilla Film Society is open to all Eau Claire students interested in any aspect of filmmaking, from writing to producing to directing. Its goal is to produce one film a semester using university equipment.

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The heart of each film will come from the minds of the university’s students, carefully crafted to the liking of all who assist in its production, organizers said. `

“We were talking about starting a film society,” junior James Boland said. “There was a gap to be filled that hasn’t been.”

Different departments have their festivals, but there is nothing to connect them, he said. In addition, students striving for a topical minor in filmmaking find themselves accumulating film courses in multiple departments, but with no central foundation for film, fellow group member and senior Juli Pitzer said.

Aside from giving participants greater exposure to filmmaking, the society could benefit other students as well.

Freshman Geoff Bourassa said he’s not necessarily interested in production, but would go see something the society produced. He also recognized the benefit to those within the society.

“It’s a great way to get students involved that are going into film . give them exposure to film,” Bourassa said.

Freshman Krystyn Stowe also thinks the initiative sounds interesting.

“I think it would be cool to see a production made by Eau Claire students . and to see their names in the credits,” she said.

Boland said the society’s productions would fill a void on campus.

“We felt that there was an absence of films on campus,” Boland said. “(The campus) shows a lot of mainstream films . I want to create something.”

Boland, alongside fellow members Pitzer and junior Shane Brown, have three goals for the society. First, they want to make progressive films that critically analyze issues students face and create awareness of issues that don’t receive enough attention.

Their second goal is to create a film network within the society for students to collaborate, bounce ideas off one other and use the resources necessary for constructive, independent films, Boland said. The campus retains equipment available for film production, but it remains idle. Being recognized by the Student Senate would allow the society to take advantage of these resources.

There will be production meetings that discuss the components to every film, review positions and outline the direction the film will take.

Third, the society would benefit those pursuing a career in filmmaking and offer support as students aspire to attend graduate school.

“We need to work really hard to shine for graduate school,” Pitzer said, who currently is working on her second major. “Students need a portfolio, and need good films to put in it.”

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New independent film society open to aspiring filmmakers