BY SEAN MARATEO
County College of Morris is home to a number of clubs that enrich the capabilities of developing minds. The Student Film Association welcomes students, regardless of background or previous knowledge, to come and learn more about a field that influences the lives of so many. Since SFA was established two and a half years ago, it has grown a considerable amount – both in size, and direction.
Matthew McClosky, digital media technology major and co-president of SFA, has a lot to say to encourage potential new members. “You really don’t need to know anything. We teach you everything we know,” McClosky said. “We give students the ability to learn more about a field that is filled with other people’s ideas and opinions, and the opportunity to grow and have the tools to work towards their goal.”
McClosky draws his inspiration from directors like Stanley Kubrick, and hopes to own and operate his own production company in the foreseeable future. Most of the club’s projects are produced and budgeted entirely by its very own members; including the short film they just finished working on, “The Killer(s).”
“Each semester the school and other clubs reach out to us to help them produce whatever they want to make. We’re working with Phi Theta Kappa right now on a video-tour of CCM, as well as a music video for music business/practicum classes,” McClosky said. “Everything we do for the school aside, when it comes down to it – we just make what we want to make.”
According to McClosky, each semester in SFA has a new flavor and is nothing like the last. Members are always learning new techniques and building their own portfolios in the process. In the last two months alone, they’ve completed a short film and a comedy sketch.
Andreas Loizou, an interior design major and dedicated member of SFA, didn’t know anything about what it took to make a film until recently. “I had no knowledge about anything about this kinda stuff going in,” Loizou said. “They welcomed me in and taught me a whole bunch of things”.
Loizou specifically means lighting techniques, something he worked on comprehensively for “The Killer(s).” Loizou was initially influenced by the comedic works of Monty Python and Steve Coogan to become a part of SFA, and he hopes to produce his own comedy sketches soon.
“It’s all about gaining experience and meeting others you can learn from,” Loizou said. “After that, you use that experience and what you learned to go forward and to write your own path.”
Loizou is enthusiastic about the future and sees SFA as an important part of that. Loizou pointed out that clubs like these are made to help students grow but also to create an alternative communal atmosphere where students can go and plant the seeds of their future.
Alexa Spear, a liberal arts major, is considering joining SFA herself. “I’m thinking about it. My boyfriend was a film major at William Paterson, so I think I’d have a little bit to offer,” Spear said. “I’d like to help make a production that invokes thought, something with a different kind of narrative than we’re used to seeing.”
Spear and her boyfriend are both avid movie-goers, and they share the same taste: dramatic, psychological thrillers. Spear went on to mention some ideas she would pitch to the SFA.
“CCM is a hard school to get to know others, mostly because it’s a commuter school,” Spear said. “If the SFA had a movie night or even a film festival, I think a lot more students would be inclined to get involved, or even just get together to enjoy a movie.”
Many of the renowned film festivals like Tribeca and Sundance are difficult for any aspiring filmmaker to get their work into, regardless of content. Spear said that a film festival here at CCM could provide good exposure for local filmmakers, as well as create an excellent opportunity for students to get involved with something on campus.
SFA has been filming and producing a lot of works since they were established, and are showing no signs of letting up. Meetings are 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 4:45 p.m. on Thursdays in Studio C of the media center. Some of their work can be seen on the CCM YouTube page.