A Window Into the Final Stretch: Theses Filmmakers Reflect
By the time this is published, theses will have been submitted, champagne will have been drunk, and the steps of Olin will have been littered and cleaned up. However, as I sit down and type this out, senior-thesis writers are making a mad dash to finish their papers, lab reports, scripts, screenplays, and films. While roving solitary seniors have been struggling not to fall asleep standing up while walking from their carrels or rooms to a source of caffeine to get over the final hurdle, we decided to check in one final time with the group of senior film majors that we’ve talked to over the course of the past year about their theses.
Carolyn Cohen ’12, who is writing a screenplay about a writer’s discovery of fiction’s answer to the “Island of Misfit Toys,” succinctly conveyed the mood on campus for seniors earlier this week: “My thesis is due on Thursday. I’ll probably be turning it in on Wednesday, but I highly doubt that I’ll really have time to comment before that. I don’t mean to offend, but I have to prioritize the project itself, you know?” If you’re reading this, don’t worry! I’m not offended! Now go back to sleep and recover!
Julian Silver ’12 is rushing to meet the deadline as well, but feels a little less harried
“I’m essentially almost done, just making some final touch ups and fiddling with the credits,” he said. “Right now, one of the most difficult parts for me is making sure everyone who should be acknowledged gets acknowledged. So much work from so many people went into making the film—I’m terrified of leaving someone out.”
This worry is surely overshadowed by the joy of not having to try to beat the deadline, but Silver’s strongest feeling is a sense of nostalgia.
“I gotta be honest, it’s so hard to put something down that has gone on for this long,” Silver said. “We started last summer with the screenplays, so we’re rocking about nine months on this now. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to end.”
But end it must, and the next big moment will be the screenings in May.
“We’re all holding our breath a little for the showings in May,” Silver said. “We don’t really know what we’ve made until the films have an audience.”
Veronika Vackova ’12 offered a change of pace. Because of the various processes required for a 16mm film, she’s been done for the past two weeks.
“I finished editing over spring break, did sound in a couple of days, sent the negative to the negative cutter, and had a professional sound mix done,” she said. “About two weeks ago, I sent the film to a lab in LA to get an answer print done with the sound optically printed on the film.”
Vackova admited that having these constraints has had its ups and downs.
“It is wonderful to be done and to have time to sleep and eat while everybody is running around finishing their theses,” she said. “On the other hand, at this point I cannot influence how the final image of the film will look, especially in terms of color and sound.”
She seemed happy and worried at the same time that at this point it’s pretty much out of her hands, and she is anxiously awaiting the audience’s reaction in May.
If previous years are a good indicator, the weekend in May when all the films will be shown will be one of the biggest campus events of the spring for these filmmakers and their loyal audience. Congratulations on your theses, everyone, and thanks for bringing The Argus along!