William Woods Plans Red Carpet Event to Celebrate Student Films

Local residents won’t have to travel to Hollywood to attend the Academy Awards. On April 27, William Woods University will sponsor its own Oscar-style event, complete with red carpet.


Dubbed the “Red Carpet Showcase,” the event is a celebration of WWU student films produced by communication majors in the arts division during the 2010-2011 academic year. It will be held April 27 at B & B Fulton Cinema 8, 521 Commons Dr. Six student films–five shorts and one feature–will headline the event, which is free and open to the public.


The showcase features fictional shorts starring several members of the William Woods community, as well as documentaries researched across various disciplines.  It also displays radio and television excerpts from WWU’s broadcasting program.


Film and theatre students will arrive to walk the red carpet at 6:30 p.m. to greet guests and the media. The show begins at 7 p.m. in Cinema 8’s large digital auditorium and will end around 10 p.m.


The program:

“Smokin’ Guns,” directed by Lincoln Purvis of Montgomery City, Mo., is a Western-comedy rated G and running seven minutes. It stars Cal Hawkins of Wentzville, Mo.; Larry Ellis of Fulton, Mo., Kayla Pulliam of Bloomington-Normal, Ill., and Jason Cavallone of Chicago, Ill.


“The Forest,” directed by Aaron Griffin of Jefferson City, Mo., is a military drama rated R and running 20 minutes. Actors in “The Forest” are Drew Arnett of Columbia, Mo.; Courtney Shotwell of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Chesterfield, Mo., and Hawkins.


“Dreams,” directed by Sarah Knapp of Festus, Mo., ­­­­­­­­­is a documentary rated G and running 20 minutes.


“Jump Start,” written by Purvis and directed by D. Jason Knowles, is a psychological drama rated PG-13/R and running 15 minutes. It stars Bailey Campanini of Camdenton, Mo.; Jennifer Steindorf of San Diego, Calif.; Becky Roberts of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Moberly, Mo., Ellis and Pulliam. “Jump Start” is a collaborative film production developed and shot by students in theatre 310—Acting for the Camera and communication 232—Digital Production II.


“The Duel,” directed by and starring Purvis with cinematography by Christopher Norton of St. Clair, Mo., is a Western-comedy rated G and running three minutes.


“Utopia Conspiracy,” screenplay by Joshua Potter, an alumnus from Fulton, Mo., and directed by Norton, is a modern Film Noir rated PG-13 and running 72 minutes. Staunzie Grady of­­­­­­­­­­ Seattle, Wash.; Samuel Binkley of Fulton, Mo.; Rachel Petricka of Las Vegas, Nev.; Potter, Arnett, Campanini and Steindorf appear in this film.


Norton, a senior digital filmmaking major, says he enjoys filmmaking because he believes it is the only medium that is able to communicate to everyone. 


“It doesn’t matter what background you’re from or who you are, films are able to take anyone away from their current lives and transport them into a fictional world where everyone experiences the same things,” he said.  “I like taking people to the fictional worlds I create.”


According to Jason Knowles, who teaches all the digital filmmaking and broadcasting production courses, the digital filmmaking program at William Woods University is committed to developing each student’s knowledge beyond a traditional understanding of motion pictures.


“Our innovative curriculum requires filmmakers to work together collaboratively, as well as one-on-one with their professors, applying historical and theoretical concepts to practice in a way that enhances their own creative voice,” Knowles said.


From their first production course, film students have access to professional studio space and an Apple-Macintosh post-production lab inside WWU’s Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts.  They can also utilize the school’s inventory of professional standard- and high-definition digital cameras, lighting and sound equipment, and resource connections to WWU’s theatre program, as well as to the greater Fulton community.


“Upon graduation,” Knowles said, “a William Woods filmmaker has developed an extensive demo reel and the festival experience necessary to become an innovative professional—an artist/ entertainer/educator who can perform as a critical thinker, creative planner and effective practitioner in multiple film industries—wh