Cutting to the Chase: How Pandemic Protocols Are Streamlining Student Films

·1-min read

For top U.S. film schools, the pandemic has scrambled travel plans for international students, disrupted programs, delayed applications, dented enrollment and strained finances to provide safety protocols in 2020 and 2021. And maybe that’s not all bad. The inconvenience of remote work (read: Zoom fatigue), smaller crews to allow for social distancing and requirements to shorten shooting hours has put artistic pressure on students to create shorter films, and that’s good for aspiring filmmakers, academics say, pointing to a silver-screen lining of the pandemic to young film-makers. Why? “Film festivals want shorter films. Crisis is leading to an opportunity,” said Stephen Galloway, dean of Chapman University’s Dodge School of the Arts in Orange, California. While it’s too soon to tell whether the pandemic will be reflected in the length of student films entered into film festivals next year, Galloway said Chapman has been encouraging shorter films for students in response to pandemic protocols. Those shorter films, he added, can be a boon on the festival circuit, where many students seek to launch their film-making careers. Shorter films are easier to schedule for screening during a festival where there is much demand on venues as well as the viewers’ time. And,...

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