2021 is a new year and senior Poppy Shaw, Film Production and CCI double major, is helping the Chapman community start it off with a bang! Shaw has organized and is running the Reset Film Festival which will take place in January 2021 and it’s open to anyone currently enrolled or graduated from Chapman, regardless of experience. We sat down with Poppy to learn a little bit more about her connection to CCI and the film festival.
What made you want to become a self-designed CCI major?
“I’ve been taking CCI classes since they were first offered at Chapman and it actually wasn’t until recently that I really understood what those classes provide me with so I wanted to have another outlet for my creativity. I really like film, but in film production I switched from emphasis to emphasis a lot. I started as an editor. I was a cinematographer. Now I’m a director, but I still really love all of those other aspects and so because Dodge makes you pick and you can’t continue growing those other skills I thought CCI would be the perfect outlet for that. I could still explore those things and more.”
What kind of things have you still been able to explore in those CCI classes?
“I took the CCI Fashion course, which was cool because I’m definitely interested in that. Basically, everything is connecting between the two. From that course I’m now thinking about making t-shirts to help fund my film production thesis, and then also through CCI electives I’ve been able to take film photography where I was able to learn how to develop in the darkroom and things like that which relates to being a cinematographer. I also took painting classes which has really helped me with posters and graphic design. It’s made me branch out of my comfort zone and it’s been really helpful.”
What inspired you to launch a film festival during COVID-19?
“I feel like film festivals are an area that we don’t really learn about at Dodge, which it should be because that’s how you can get your name out there into the real world -- by finding a festival that works well with your style and making your mark that way. We haven’t learned much about them so I’ve been really curious about that. But then also, I feel like because of COVID this is the time that most of my friends and myself have been really unmotivated to be creative which is crazy because we have all this free time now to be making things, but instead we’re stuck at home and being sad because of the situation that we’re in. So I wanted to make something that gives people that push to be creative again. I think everyone just needed a little push and then things can feel a little more normal, or at least be something that takes our minds off of everything going on. And it’s grown even beyond that, now I really want to connect everyone through doing something with the same prompt so we can all see where people’s minds go and think as a community.”
Where does the name Reset Film Festival come from?
“It’s all about resetting the year, writing off 2020, and seeing what’s to come. It’s kind of like a nice little creative reset for everyone. Yes, we’ve gone through this year and let’s now look forward to something.”
What have you learned through the process so far?
“I’m definitely a lot more interested in the business side of film now, the entrepreneurship side of everything. Learning how to make a film festival work and what works and what doesn’t work has been really eye opening to me. I reached out to the CEO of the Newport Beach Film Festival, Gregg Schwenk, and he gave me a lot of tips and pointers. He’s one of the people that made me realize a lot of things surrounding film festival cultures that we don’t really have at Chapman…. It was interesting to hear that Newport Beach Film Festival allocates a certain amount of time to showing student films, but the participation rate for students from Chapman is almost zero percent… Most people are focused on Sundance and stuff like that when other smaller (still pretty big and established) film festivals have things to offer besides getting your name on a piece of paper or something. So yeah it definitely opened my eyes about the importance of film festival culture and why we need to know about it and how we can use that knowledge to push our careers in the right direction.”
What do you hope to achieve with the Reset Film Festival?
“I really want to foster and inspire a creative environment that can take place remotely or wherever anyone is in the world so you don’t have to be in Orange, if you have access to anything that can film you can enter. And it’s open to current students and alumni because I want to bridge that gap between students so they can connect with one another. It’s just giving people that creative reset that they needed and letting people reconnect in this disconnected time.”
The film festival is open to anyone and is open to showcasing everyone’s work and showing off all of the different talents that are at Chapman. They are looking for people who are storytellers and can tell the best story regardless of equipment or experience. The prompts will be released on January 4th and all submissions are due by January 14th. For more information check out https://www.resetfilmfestival.com/. And check back after the festival in January for follow up piece to see how everything goes down!