Remote is the second all Corps student production. Led by Weston Fribley, graduate of the Class of Spring 2011, this film challenged the talents of all members involved, especially Fribley's as he wrote, directed and was the special effects supervisor for the project.
Here is a note from Director, Weston Fribley:
"Since first falling in love with movies when I was 7, watching Return of the Jedi in the Sam's Club electronics section while my parents shopped for bulk-sized bags of cereal, I've always wanted to put my own science fiction story on the screen. Throughout high school, I was fascinated by visual effects and began to learn the basics of 3D computer graphics, digital video and how to put the two together. But it wasn't until the end of my college career - and with the support, hard work and advice from colleagues and mentors at the Digital Corps - that I managed to undertake the process of turning that passion into a visible product.
Remote - as this sci-fi short film became known - began as a way to demonstrate the technical expertise of the Digital Corps, specifically in the areas of visual effects and sound design. A previous project - a "case study" video for Apple Pro Certifications - gave me the confidence that the students of the Digital Corps possessed the talent to take their game to the next level, and I was thrilled to provide an opportunity for them to do so. So I began writing... and writing... and writing. I learned a lot about my creative self during the process of developing the story of Remote - namely that I need to grow a lot as a writer before anything I pen turns out well. But with time ticking away, we had to lock a script and begin production.
My producer, Scott Reinke, and I began scouting locations, assembling the rest of our team and purchasing all of the costumes and props we would need. By March of 2011, we were ready to shoot. Filming went well, with the Digital Corps student crew performing at the professional level I had always known was possible. Everyone stepped up to the challenge of creating a science-fiction film with no budget and little time - I was proud and excited that our little student set felt so professional... even if we had no trailers for our actors and only folding chairs and homemade sandwiches for lunch.
After we wrapped, it was time to take a look at the footage and begin post-production. It became immediately clear that, even though the atmosphere on set was professional, we were all still students of filmmaking - re-shoots would be necessary. From late March until early June, preparations were made for another bout of filming. Props were improved, staging was re-thought and the camera-work refined. Despite having a smaller crew, the second shoot went just as well as the first.. and this time we got the footage we needed.
Now post-production could begin in earnest. This was the part of the process I was most looking forward to - a chance to finally put to use those skills that I had been developing since high school, a chance to finally see my vision on screen. We created 3D models, digital backdrops and other assets that would be used to turn the raw footage we shot at an abandoned factory into a war-torn world with bombed-out buildings in the distance and alien warships in the sky. We also gathered sounds - even recording our own gunshots - to create an entire soundtrack from scratch. Finally, by the end of July, Remote was screened for members of the Digital Corps, the cast and crew.
The project achieved its stated goals - to push the boundaries of student video production at Ball State. But there was something more, something that only became clear to me toward the end of the process, which Remote accomplished for me, personally: know why you are doing something, in order to do exactly what you want to do, and do it well. I began Remote out of a desire to create something that looked cool, rather than something that was cool. I had my visual effects hat on, rather than my writer/director hat. That would have been fine, had I not tricked myself into thinking those two hats were one in the same. Remote taught me the value of having talented people working by your side, the value of having wise mentors and supervisors, and the value of working hard and with enthusiasm - but it also, and most importantly, taught me to know myself. It was a project that I had to make in order to grow as a creative person. And without the Digital Corps, it would never have happened. For that I will always be grateful."
-Weston Fribley, Class of 2011
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