Envision Film Festival is back on Taylor’s campus and played host to a flurry of events over the weekend. These events included workshops, the screening of student documentaries, music videos and films and various activities with high school students.
The two guests invited to conduct workshops this year at the Envision Film Festival were Eric VanValin and Conor Olstad.
Eric VanValin has ten years of experience working in Los Angeles's film and television industries, including eight years spent working in casting and TV development for Warner Bros. He has published his own articles on faith, media and television in Relevant and Fuller magazines. Additionally, he is the coordinator for Taylor University’s Hollywood semester.
Conor Olstad graduated from Taylor University in 2015. He went on to start his own production firm that works with customers in the outdoor industry. His current clients include Remington Ammunition and Kuiu Apparel. Olstad started and developed a social media presence for his personal brand Midwest Flyways over the same time-frame on Youtube, Instagram, and Tiktok before stepping away last fall.
The workshops conducted this year were Video Production as a Business: How to turn your passion into a paycheck, Writing and Pitching for Television – An introduction to writing scripts and pitching your own projects to television networks, Video Production and Social Media: growing your brand and helping other companies do the same and How to "make it" in LA (or anywhere) – An insider's look into the current state of entertainment with key insights on how to build a career in that world.
At 7 p.m. on Friday the official Envision film screening took place, with the following titles on display: 3 AM in Cincy, Paper Chasers, Denial, Dream Soda, ExPat: More Than a Tourist, Fire Trajectories, Justice for Batman: The Mark Racop Case, Laurie, Something New and Unconventional: Living Life to the Max.
At the time of printing, the winners from these projects were still unknown, with the winners being decided by an anonymous panel of Taylor film alumni.
Alongside the college student video projects, one high-school student-made film will be shown at the screening, with the winner of that being awarded a scholarship toward attending the film program at Taylor. Notable past winners of the highschool award are junior Aiden Merck and senior Benjamin Tiede.
The awards this year were hosted by seniors Franklin Snyder and Anna Rodman (The hosts of TUpdate) and they will be giving away Oscar statuettes to the winners of the respective categories.
Vital to the smooth running and various moving parts of this film festival are Tiede and senior Luke Zoebel. They consist of two of the four Envision producers who work with John Bruner, professor of film and media production, throughout the year.
Envision producers are in charge of creating sizzle reels, guest reels and various other videos that are showcased at the event — alongside streaming tri-weekly chapel services, editing “TUpdates” and “What’s up in Rupp” shows for Instagram and Youtube.
This year Tiede was in charge of creating the Envision Film Festival Open, which is the video that is screened at the beginning of the Envision screening time. The production this year consisted of 26 people on set which made it the largest production at Taylor University. Tiede described it as “40 hours of work.”
Zoebel has experienced previous success at Envision with his documentary Lizzi: Deeper than Water winning Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Documentary. Zoebel was in charge of editing it and watched his international documentary ExPat: More Than a Tourist screen at the film festival.
These two seniors were a glimpse into the numerous hours of effort and many people who exist behind the scenes of events such as Envision.