By Emily Pawlowski | Echo
"I think Envision is great because it is a chance for the rest of campus to see why film majors can disappear for days on end during the semester," Tyler Kempton ('18) said.
The Envision Film Festival is a time to celebrate the work of local film makers, and to encourage the next generation to start creating. It is also an opportunity to share what Taylor students can do with the rest of the world.
This year, 9 student films will be shown at the festival.
Beauty in Affliction
Senior Hannah Goebel is presenting the film she created with seniors Jon Meharg, Brianna Jordahl and Tori Newman during the international documentary class over J-term.
They chose to cover a non-profit in Guatemala called Vidas Plentas. This group works in La Limonada, one of the largest slums in central America. It was chosen because Drew Moser, dean of experiential learning and an associate professor of higher education, is on the board for Lemonade International, an American group that supports Vidas Plentas.
"It is a truly (heartwarming) story of God's love, that shows the beauty in the world underneath the pain," Newman said.
Newman thinks that Taylor students will be inspired by this piece and enjoy seeing the work of Christians, especially those at Taylor, in the world around them.
Out of Hand
Rather than tell a complete story, "Out of Hand" is a movie trailer for the idea of a full feature-length film. The movie it describes is a thriller about a young man who tries to solve the problems his sister has with her boyfriend.
Juniors Kelsea Denney and Emma Horne, sophomore Joseph Ford and senior Hudson Farrell decided on the theme of a psychological thriller while brainstorming good shots to use in their trailer. Farrell hopes that students will enjoy the pace and mood of the trailer.
They also hope the film might catch students by surprise.
"There's a special shot at the end that's a little off-beat from what you may normally associate with a Taylor film and students may find that intriguing," Farrell said.
West Reade Avenue
This film presents the more sentimental side of college. It focuses on two friends who learn to say goodbye before they graduate.
"I hope students will enjoy seeing a little bit of their own lives in the characters," Meharg said.
Meharg wrote, directed and edited this piece. He worked with senior Blain Pasma, who co-directed, senior Jake Vriezelaar, Emma Horne and Caroline York.
Meharg says he drew inspiration from his own goodbyes with friends in years past.
You are the Answer
As a client piece, "You are the Answer" could not participate in the actual Envision competition, but it is still being shown.
It was produced by senior Cat Allocco, who collaborated with director and cinematographer Vriezelaar and senior Grant Oldham, who was an editor.
"Creating a client piece is different than normal filmmaking because you're representing a company, as opposed to making a short film for fun or for yourself," Allocco said. "There's a new level of energy and drive that you feel because someone is trusting you to represent their company."
This film was made for Marion Design Co. and shares its mission of teaching the power of design through collaboration with local students and the community.
Grow Up Sometime
Senior Landry Long combined interests by directing a music video for a song from his album "Bliss Fishing." The song "Grow Up Sometime" reflects on the good things of the past while recognizing that life moves on.
Long collaborated with Gardner Stewart and Vriezelaar in producing the video. They tried to convey the optimistic message throughout the video itself as well.
"For the video, at the time I think I was in a spot of life where I was thankful for the past and all the experiences that had led me up to the current point of life I was in, but also realizing that life moves on and bigger and better things are hopefully ahead," Long said.
Cheating the System
"Cheating the System" was shot over the course of two days, while senior Rebekah Hardwicke was in Los Angeles for the summer. She collaborated with Taylor alumni and others in the industry, which means this film is unable to compete in the Envision festival.
The film takes a look at a world where people with mental illnesses are heavily restricted. It follows a lawyer who struggles to stay afloat as she searches for antidepressants after her dealer dies.
"I've always liked ideas that have the world as we know it today with just one twist," Hardwicke said. "Once I found a twist that interested me, the rest just came together."
Sophomore Tim Hudson came up with the idea for his film while driving through the cornfields of rural Nebraska.
"There's something off putting about the atmosphere at night," Hudson said.
"W200" takes place during the height of the Kentucky State Fair, during the investigation of some suspicious events. Hudson hopes students enjoy the tension of the film, as well as its unconventional lighting.
"Gratitude is something that can free us from tugging of angst and teach us to view the world in a wondrous way," Vriezelaar said.
That idea is explored in "Gratitude" as a young man reflects on his past mistakes over coffee with his sister. She encourages him to learn from his downfalls and progress, instead of wallowing in his emotions.
Vriezelaar hopes students see parts of their lives in the story. There are some existential questions raised in the context of growing up that he thinks audiences will be able to relate to.
"When stories cause us to look at ourselves in a contemplative way, we are able to experience the art form of filmmaking in its truest form," Vriezelaar said. "Stories are about empathy."
Kempton graduated last year, but several people who helped with lighting and sound are current students at Taylor University.
"What Remains" is about a boy who goes on a journey of self-discovery after having visions of a life he doesn't recognize. It has some science fiction elements to it, which contrast with the genres of other films.
Today, these stories will all be shared with the community at 7 p.m. in Rediger Auditorium. All are invited to come and see the best of the best from the 2019 competitors. Tickets are free for those with a Taylor ID, or $5 for general admission.