Saturday, July 20, 2024

New club pursues filmmaking

For film junkies, there’s a new way to get involved at Plattsburgh State instead of just Netflixing new flicks.

The PSUC Film Club is a new club this semester that utilizes students’ film-making skills to produce content.

Sophomore TV video production major and vice president of the film club Joe Lewis said the purpose is to represent collaborative film-making skills on campus.

“We want to instill that sort of film thought at Plattsburgh, because there is not a film major or presence at all here on campus,” he said.

Lewis also said anyone is welcome to the club. He said many skills are used to make film such as acting, costume design, drawing, public relations and writing.

“At our first meeting, we said this: ‘Any skill that you possess can be used in filmmaking,’” he said. “Whether you enjoy watching movies, it’s good to be critical of everyone else.”

Lewis said any skill can be utilized for the club, especially because its producing student films and not every single aspect of the club is professional.

President of the club and sophomore TV video production major Anthony Scalzo also said many students might be interested in directing.

“That gives people who want to do that the easiest way to collaborate with people because in the real world, if you want to direct movies, you need actors, you need people who can draw,” he said. “In this club, you have all of that to your disposal.”

Scalzo also said he wants students to feel like they don’t have to limit their creativity.

As for the club’s future, Scalzo and Lewis have plans for late October and November already. They said they’ll be holding a 48 hour film contest.

“Basically, we’re going to give everybody who signs up a prompt the day before, and they’ll have to make a film,” Scalzo said. “Whatever the prompt is, they’ll have to make it in 48 or 72 hours.”

Once the films are made, the film club will hold a festival at the Strand Theatre, where the films will be shown. The winner of the contest will get their film shown at the Lake Champlain International Film Festival.

The Lake Champlain Film Festival is being held for four days into November. Lewis and Scalzo are both interns for the festival, so they are also giving the film club members opportunities to help out whether they’re just watching the festival or helping to set up.

At their first meeting, they had about 20 students attend. At the Involvement Fair, they said about 40 people showed up. Lewis said that outside of the Involvement Fair, they haven’t done a ton of advertising, so they hope that once word gets out about their club, more people will join.

“We also tell people that they don’t have to go to every single meeting to be involved. If you can’t make that time, that’s fine. Basically, we’re going to keep in contact through social media,” Lewis said. “People can do things on their own time, but stay connected.”

Last semester, Lewis and Scalzo both took a class with English Associate Professor Jon Chatlos, and they approached him asking to be their adviser. Chatlos was shocked that there was never a film club on campus before.

“Plattsburgh is pretty active in terms of number of clubs it has. The administration is also very welcoming to new clubs, so when they came up to me and asked me to be their adviser for this club, I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’”Chatlos said. “I’m once stumped on why it hasn’t been here before and pleased that it is here now.”

He said both the minor and club is belated, but he’s excited to see what becomes of the new film presence on campus.

“We have a new film studies minor. There are now two strands of film here on campus. One is the production end of things, and then there’s the film studies minor.”

Chatlos said the film studies minor is more of sitting back and analyzing a film, whereas with the film club, there is hands on experience producing films.

“We’re just brand new, which is just so mind-boggling to both of us that there hasn’t been a film club,” Lewis said.

PSUC currently offers film studies as a minor, but Lewis said that he hopes the club is a push to have film as a major.

“If there was a film major, they’d be making projects filtered through the professors,” Scalzo said.

Lewis said he wants the club to evolve so students aren’t just going to a club meeting. They are actually producing and getting hands on experience with film-making. The film club meets at 7 p.m. Mondays in Yokum 203.

“You’re actually doing things in the classroom, so that’s what we kind of want,” Lewis said.

Email Kavita Singh at

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