"Splintered Wood" - Stephen Holts

For my capstone, I made a short film, entitled, Splintered Wood. It’s a drama piece about a boy who tries to bridge the gap between two beloved family members who don’t like each other, while maintaining his own strong relationship with the two of them. The questions the necessity of familial love, and also wrestles with themes of the unit versus the individual. 

I chose this as my capstone because ever since my freshman year, I knew I wanted to make a short film, I just had no idea as to how I was going to pull it off, or what the short would even be about. 

Then  around my junior year, I wrote a script, and took a real liking to it. So much so, that I actually shared it with another breathing person. When I shared my script with others, they seemed to like it too, further solidifying the idea in my head that this was what I wanted to do.

I implemented the core values through spending two years in Digital Video inquiring and researching how short films are made. I had to collaborate with actors, and the presentation was the actual film. 

After preproduction, each step overlapped. After the script was written, I was doing script readings with one actor while shooting with another. Also, the entire time we were shooting I was editing, so production and postproduction were happening all at the same time. 

The biggest obstacle was scheduling. One of the actors had graduated high school, while the other two were still students, one of which was a junior who was always busy. Scheduling was very complicated, but when the stars would align, it turned out alright. 

The process was very stressful, mainly because I was doing this all on my own. I was directing, producing, editing, casting, working with the sound recordings, and scheduling all of the shootings. Sure, I had two years of experience with this, but when you’re truly on your own, it’s a different kind of ball game. 

I’m really proud of the work that was accomplished. Save for the actors, I did this all on my own. I’m really impressed with myself that I was able to do it because there were definitely times where I thought I couldn’t. 

I learned a lot about film production, with the biggest lesson being that a crew is as important to have than a cast. One person cannot do all of the work on the crew side of things. 

I think I would have taken some students from entry-level dig vid to have as a crew so that they could learn what it’s like to be a part of one, because that’s not necessarily something that we practiced all the time in dig vid. 

When I interviewed to become a student at SLA, I promised that I would bring people together, and I think I’ve done that through various projects that I’ve managed to pull off during my time as a student here. There are very view students that currently attend SLA that haven’t seen me do something weird or tell someone else to do something weird in the name of a film project. There are many ways to unify a community. Film was just my way of doing it. 


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