UCF Film is dedicated to strong narratives and engaging stories. That's why we call our annual DVD compilation FIVE STORIES. Films featured on this disc–chosen from the more than 100 projects completed each year by our students–not only showcase a maturity in the technical aspects of filmmaking but also a sophistication of storytelling we believe is among the best of the nation's film programs.
Five Stories is sent out each year to a wide range of local and national industry professionals. Industry members can request a copy by sending an e-mail that includes their professional affiliations. The disc also provides valuable exposure for our students as UCF FILM actively markets it to film festivals around the country.
William Geronimo was born to market products. Life is grand until one weekend he decides to market his own life. It turns out he isn't getting what he bought into.
The concept for this film stems from a mix of ideas that I had been gathering. I have always had this main character in the back of my head; the smarmy advertising executive that is at the top of his game and wants more from it. By placing this character in such obsequious surroundings, i.e. gorgeous home, job, car, wife, I was trying to paint his life that of a commercial you would see in a glossy print mag or on television. Everything that's being sold to you looks appealing, yet upon closer inspection, it's just an empty shell. Now although the plot of "man-at-the-top-of-his-game-is-unsatisfied-and-wants-a-better-life" has been done to death, I thought it would be funny if the solution to his problem were as easy and hollow as the problem itself: just walk away. And with an ironic sense of self-accomplishment, he does just that.
This film really is the culmination of my love for commercials and satire. The previous summer I started writing a notepad's worth of mock commercials and chose two of my favorites to be shown through the medium of "crazy hitchhiker demo reel". I saw the slip n' slide commercial as a funny comment on neglectful parenting, as well as how children are doing more adult things earlier and earlier. And the anti-drug commercial was just an easy hit at an incredibly brilliant ad campaign by the guys at Drug-Free America.
This film demanded a pretty grueling shooting schedule and would not have been completed if not for the help of my incredibly amazing cast and crew. I am forever indebted to them. My film school experience, with all of its failures and triumphs, has truly sharpened my discipline of directing, as well as shaped me into the filmmaker I am today.
A visual study of a young jogger who is shown a series of inkblot paintings that propel him into a collection of stories and memories centering on childhood, questions of sexuality and an enigmatic girl.
It took me 15 years to make this film.
When I first approached the idea to retell some of my experiences as a kid, I found that most of my memories came to me in segments. I remembered only little pieces, flickers of memory and light. I found it strange how life repeated itself and how pieces were connected. I then started to arrange these stories together in the same manner as filmmaker Su Friedrich in her incredible work Sink or Swim, a film about her father.
Using her structure, my film become more and more of a self-exploration. I drew further from hiding things behind my dialogue and characters and just started being more honest with myself. I started to understand some of the consequences of the events in my life. Why were my parents this influential to me? Why was this experience with my cousin that profound? It took a long while to discover who I am - and to be OK with not being 100% accurate in that assessment. I've come to terms with the present accepting the past. This has been a journey that despite any festivals I may or may not play was worth the time and effort. This has been the most important film I've made.
I thank my cast and crew for their amazing work. This film was more then just a thesis project for an undergraduate degree, it was my therapy. I'm happier now and more at peace. It is amazing how friends can do that for you.
A sex professional who rents his memories meets a woman he can't forget.
When I started to make Sex Machine I knew I was going to limit myself. In the films I'd made previously I had restrained myself in certain areas, not allowing for multiple perspectives on a single scene or allowing for the use of non diegetic music. Robert Bresson was, and still is, the main influence and guiding force in my work. I try to construct my films with Bresson's philosophies in mind. I starve myself as a filmmaker. I limit myself, only allowing myself to use certain elements. By using only a few elements my skill increases greatly in the application of each, or at least that is the idea, I don't think it has worked so far.
Sex Machine is a material reality. The "futuristic" setting of Sex Machine is the world we live in. There is no fantasy. The "memories" in Sex Machine were shot hand cranked on a bolex camera. I wanted the "memories" to have a crude physical existence, this is why I did not shoot them on a digital format. Everything is material in the film, even the human memory which transfers images through a physical medium. Hand cranking film through a camera creates an inextricable link between the image, the medium it is presented in, and the manner in which it was created.
The important parts of Sex Machine are in the elipses. When I think of cosciousness I think of a limited, completely unique perspective, a collection of fragments and inferences. Every film is its own consciousness which is impossible for the viewer to enter into and assimilate entirely. For this reason the film is distant, fragmented, and alien, like a memory.
I love Midnight Cowboy. Sex Machine is my take on it. It was made for practically nothing by a group of friends and it is very very dear to me.
A blind man tries to rob a used bookstore, but nobody can see what happens next.
This film is a culmination of my eight years of working petty retail jobs for little money and less fulfillment. The character of Mike is a combination of the compassionate, forgiving person I try to be and the jaded, impatient person I usually am.
The idea of a film where a blind man robs a bookstore started as a joke among friends over a delicious Cuban meal at Orlando's own Habana Grill. The joke snowballed, the script was written, and the rest is history.
In the face of nuclear holocaust, a young girl searches for home.
I've always been interested in extremes. When you strip away all the padding, what's left? When you put humanity in the worst possible situation, what do we become? Are we good or evil? What is our truth?
I made this film because I wanted to experiment with this idea in story and style. I wanted a film that was true to me and my creative vision above all else. With just me, a bolex, and an awful lot of scrap paper what would I make? What would I tell?
I'd been frustrated with the filmmaking process because I felt that so often our creative visions get mucked up along the way by not so creative part of the creative process. By taking an incredibly minimalistic approach to filmmaking The World, Naked as a Jaybird was my attempt to make a film that was mine. It is my success, or my failure; there are absolutely no scapegoats here. I am proud, and wholly responsible for this film. Of course the odd part of working in such extremes is that the film evolved into a bizarre collaged grown-up fairytale, however that's just how life, and the creative process, works some times.
So what are the results of my experiment? What do you get when you strip it all away from me? Apparently a story of a little girl made out of paper searching for home in a hostile world. Read into it what you will.