Progeny Short Film Festival
In addition to my required course work, I had the honor of serving as Festival Director for the 2018 Progeny Short Film Festival. Progeny was founded in 2003 by Virginia Tech alumni, John Irwin and Marco Shepherd, as an opportunity for budding filmmakers to showcase their work in front of an audience. In 2015, Cinema Production faculty, Dien Vo and Charles Dye, restructured the annual event, integrating the School of Performing Arts into the process, while also legitimizing the festival through FilmFreeway. Now an internationally recognized event held at the historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg, The Progeny Short Film Festival seeks filmmakers who produce thought-provoking content, showcasing a diverse range of styles, genres, and interests. We received 117 submissions in 2018, and were fortunate enough to screen 20 wonderful short films.
As Festival Director, I spearheaded the event from this iteration's initial conception in January, all the way through execution in September, reporting my progress to a designated faculty advisor. Among my creative contributions were an expansion of submission categories and awards offered, an alteration to festival branding, and a revision of the judging process. In regards to chief logistical contributions, I proposed and implemented a revision of the allocated budget, supervised a subordinate staff of students who assist the execution of the event for course credit, and facilitated all official communication of the festival via email, social media, phone, and in-person meetings. I assembled our panel of four official judges, and assisted in the initial vetting stages of submission review. Furthermore, I oversaw the final edit of our festival's official sequence, along with nearly all elements pertaining to graphic design, such as the printed programs, award certificates, and digital promotion. Lastly, I commissioned an official photographer and videographer, in order to preserve the event for future reference.
A couple months after the conclusion of Progeny, I was asked to compile a report in order to assist future festival organizers. I've uploaded an abridged version of my Progeny Report, edited so to omit sections pertaining to various confidential information.
Creative Writing & Critical Essays
Served was submitted for my Creative Nonfiction course at Virginia Tech, under the guidance of Alumni Distinguished Professor Lucinda Roy. The story details my visit to a local fast-food establishment, and the subsequent clash with a particular employee. “Served” was particularly influenced by previous conversations with my friends, in which my ‘stickler’ characteristics often interfere with the harmony of my daily routine, in a comedic or absurdist manner. I've provided an excerpt from the piece, as I await responses from several publications.
To the End was submitted for my Advanced Fiction course at Virginia Tech, under the guidance of Alumni Distinguished Professor, Lucinda Roy. This 1250 word, flash fiction story details the last few moments of a championship boxing match. “To the End” was particularly influenced by my passion for boxing films such as Champion (1949), Rocky (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Cinderella Man (2005), and Creed (2015), while also drawing inspiration from “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff. I've provided an excerpt from the piece, which will be published in the Mangrove Literary Journal in February, 2019.
The Tragedy of Entitlement was submitted as a term paper for my History of Drama and Theatre course at Virginia Tech, under the guidance of Professor David Johnson. Throughout the essay, I pursue a character analysis of William Foster from the underrated Michael Douglas drama, Falling Down (1993), supporting my argument with secondary sources, alongside my own dissection of the film. I'm currently expanding this research beyond that which was required for the class assignment, and have provided an excerpt of this work-in-progress.
All Theatre & Cinema students at Virginia Tech are required to stage a scene, or excerpt of a theatrical production, from a choice of several assigned plays. For my scene, I directed an excerpt from Lillian Hellman's 1934 classic of American Realism—The Children's Hour. Eight weeks of regular rehearsals ultimately culminate into two staged performances—midterm and final—each followed by peer and professor evaluation. We were also required to compile and deliver a 100-400 page Director's Binder, including but not limited to initial research, script analysis, conceptualization, rehearsal notes, and progress reports. I've also contributed to mainstage productions at Virginia Tech in the roles of Projections Designer and Projections Operator, among others, but this scene was certainly my biggest undertaking within theatre!
The endeavor was taxing amidst other projects and course work, but I cherished both the process and final product, nonetheless. In particular, the need to shift my directing perspective away from cinema, into the world of theatre was an extremely valuable learning experience. Regarding my continuing work with actors, I've become considerably more aware of the similarities and differences between these two approaches to acting, and have already noticed the on-set benefits of having obtained a much more diverse pallet of language, exercises, and expectations, as a result of this term project.
Senior Directing Scene