The invisible wall

How many of you like movies? I’m assuming just about everyone has seen a film that they enjoyed. Well, how many of you would like to make a movie?

Anyone can help make a movie. You don’t have to be an amazing actor or a brilliant artist to participate in the production of a film. You just have to be dedicated.

So how do you make a movie? Cheaply, that’s how. The ultimate way to make a movie is for free. But how do college students make a movie for free?

Well, we are in college and there should be some resources on campus. Turns out, there are resources on campus. But, guess what? You can’t use them.

The Mass Communications department has a policy that cameras and equipment can only be checked out for classroom purposes.

This policy puts up an invisible wall against any filmmaker on campus, forcing us to just sit and drool over the equipment.

I understand the need to protect the investment of the Mass Communications department, but I believe students should have access to this equipment for their personal creative projects as well.

I’m not saying twenty-four hour access to the equipment for everybody. The same restrictions should be applied to non-classroom projects, and maybe there should be even harsher regulations for these personal projects.

However, this incredibly valuable equipment is wasting itself away and leaving a huge hole in the opportunities afforded to students at this institution.

I know that many professors in the Mass Communications department would love for this shift in policy to happen. I also know there is a film club on campus that would explode with excitement if they were allowed a crack at the equipment.

If the department is not comfortable with giving just anyone access to their equipment, they should at least be willing to grant a registered film production club on campus some sort of restricted access to the equipment.

I’m sure many students would be happy to compromise and respect any policies the Mass Communications department would deem necessary for this policy change.

It’s possible some will respond to this plea with something similar to, “Well go buy a camera and do it yourself if you want to make a film so bad.” Most filmmakers on campus have tried. Some have had success and some have not.

But the main problem in almost all of those productions is access to equipment. With the state of the economy and the rising cost of higher education, it is a wonder any college films get made anymore.

I respect the Mass Communications department and I am grateful for the opportunities it has provided me, but I am begging for help.

For the majority of us, this college experience will be the only chance we have at making a film we can be proud of.

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