OSU students study film independently

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Lisa Griffith chugged another Red Bull as it neared 6 a.m. It was the middle of summer and Griffith was crammed into the tight quarters of a study room in the basement of Blackburn House. But she was not studying; she was making a movie.

Griffith is a member of Reel Buckeye Productions, a student organization at Ohio State University committed to making independent films. OSU currently offers no film production degree, and Reel Buckeye Productions was created to fill that void.

“Ideally, we would like to see a film production degree,” said Kristina Hall, unit production manager and one of the three co-founders of Reel Buckeye Productions. “That’s our ultimate goal.”

For three weeks in the summer, Griffith and Hall sacrificed sleep and monetary payment to work on the production of the group’s latest project, a feature film titled “3 Easy Payments.” Those three weeks were only a small fraction of the total time invested. A cast and crew of nearly 100 people worked for 18 months to bring “3 Easy Payments” to life.

Although post-production wraps up on “3 Easy Payments” before its January premiere at the Drexel Gateway Theater, Reel Buckeye Productions has already taken its first step in the creation of their next project. An informational script meeting was held Monday to conjure up a group of students who have a story to tell. Everyone from English majors to pre-med students were present, and anyone not at the meeting is encouraged to take part in the script competition.

“We counted 17 different majors involved in the group,” said Hall, a senior in finance. She said the diverse majors were able to contribute different ideas and perspective to the group, so she encourages anyone to join, no matter what major.

Hall said the group will be accepting three to four short films to be featured in a film festival, and Reel Buckeye Productions is accepting scripts for short films until Nov. 22.

“In our off years (from making features), we want to make short films,” Hall said. “This gives a chance to get people involved in the project. People get involved in positions and we can give them new skills as a warm-up. It also gives the board a chance to see who we’d appoint to work on the features.”

Scripts for the short films can be anywhere from five to twenty pages, one page roughly translating into one minute of footage. Any genre of film is welcome, although spoofs and sequels of existing films are discouraged. The winning shorts will eventually be put together as part of a mini film festival.