ICQ 2003/1

REPORT from Communications


Student Work Showcased in PreVues

"The feeling that arises when watching your creative work in a public setting is nothing short of intense pride," says Jon Mendelsohn '01. "I never thought my project would be screened in such a setting. "I found myself sitting next to friends, family, alumni, and media professionals, realizing that my project had been selected from a [huge] pool." Mendelsohn was one of 13 artists whose work was featured in PreVues, the Park School's annual student film and video showcase. Long recognized for combining hands-on experience and academic instruction from a student's first days on campus, the Park School is empowering students to take that experience a step further and produce a finished work for "festival" exhibition.

Mighty Like a Rose
Still from last year's entry Mighty Like a Rose by Alex Morrison '02

Since fall 2000, members of the Park faculty have nominated student projects that represent the best of student work for each academic year. From the hundreds created throughout the year, a committee of faculty and media industry alumni evaluate the nominated selections. This year they evaluated over 50 nominated works to decide on which would make the final cut for the PreVues III program.

Evaluating works from animated, experimental, and narrative genres has proven to be challenging but rewarding for the PreVues committee and jury. The committee responsible for evaluating and programming the final show is led by assistant professor and chair Mara Alper (television-radio), and includes assistant professors Peter Johanns (television-radio) and David Gatten and Simon Tarr (cinema and photography).

Three industry professional alumni work with them: Bill Carraro '82, Laura Kissell '91, and Russell Harnden III '90. Harnden, an editor at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Los Angeles, has served as a PreVues juror since its inception in 2000. "It is extremely refreshing to screen the student works that are being considered for PreVues," he says. "There is a raw yet honest sensibility to these projects created by the filmmakers and videomakers of tomorrow -- a change from the glossy, mainstream-Hollywood fare that I work with on a daily basis. I am pleased to see that both the artistic concepts and the production values of the projects submitted have increased tenfold with each year's entries." Harnden created the trailer and television advertising campaign for the recent James Bond film Die Another Day.

Alper adds, "PreVues is an excellent representation of the range of work created in the Park School film and video programs. It's always great to see the full gamut of what our students are creating and to appreciate their energetic commitment to their work. [PreVues] gives them good public recognition that goes beyond the usual classroom screening."

Dean Thomas Bohn envisioned the PreVues program several years ago. He was determined to create an opportunity "to reward and recognize student accomplishment through a process of selecting and evaluating student work as well as to connect alumni and industry professionals to our students." The inaugural event in 2001 was such a success that PreVues was made an annual happening. Plans include making PreVues more accessible by distributing the show on DVD and possibly streaming it on the Park School's website. The entire program is made possible by a gift from the late James B. Pendleton.

PreVues III, the 2003 entry, is being shown in three cities. The Los Angeles event, held at the L.A. Film School in March, was open to the public as well as alumni and industry professionals. PreVues III also debuted on the College campus in March and will premiere New York City at the Florence Gould Hall in October. Alumni and friends are invited to attend; register by visiting www.ithaca.edu/alumni. A donation of $10 is appreciated and goes toward supporting the PreVues program and other Park School student programs.

Photo courtesy of Alex Morrison '02

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A. Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications, 25 April, 2003