SF Student Competing in Tallahassee Film Contest Needs Your Vote!

The theme of “discovery.” A basketball. And the word “eureka!”

All three had to be included in a 5-minute short film made in just 48 hours — for under $100 — as part of the 48 Hours filmmaking competition in the recent Tallahassee Film Festival.

“We got the theme at 7 p.m. and we story boarded ’til 3 a.m.,” recalls Audra Rauner, 21, an award-winning digital media student at Santa Fe College.  

“We slept three hours, then we were up at 6 and we started filming by 8 a.m. We finished at 9 p.m., and then we slept for one hour Saturday night. It was due at 7 p.m. Sunday.”

 Vote for “I Found It”

Rauner’s finished film, “I Found It,” 4:15, is about a researcher who erases his own memory to better understand his Alzheimer’s patients.

The contest’s films are currently on the website of the Tallahassee Democrat. One film from each category (student, amateur, professional) will receive a judge’s award. A viewer’s choice award will go to the film that gets the most votes by viewers. Help Audra win!

Go online to http://www.tallahassee.com/section/filmfestival.

Click the Student films category.

Scroll down to her film, “I Found It,” and vote!

Voting runs through Friday, April 9, and you can vote more than once. If Rauner’s film wins, she plans to use the prize money to purchase lights for her filmmaking.

“Audra did a great job. This was not an easy task,” said Professor Marc Shahboz, who accompanied Audra’s team to Tallahassee. “To basically start with nothing and then come up with a coherent 5-minute film is pretty daunting.”

The filmmaking process

Rauner said the film they wrote and shot turned out to be a 10-minute film (it could only be 5 minutes, tops), “so we had to cut a lot — whole scenes — but we still filmed it all.”

Rauner said she is grateful to her teammates, Brian Brijbag, Lief Thomason (her fiancé!), Jason Ford, and Brennen Lesser, who are all from Brooksville, her hometown (about 60 miles south of Gainesville). They’ve worked on several projects together. Three are musicians; Jason wrote  the score for “I Found It” and for several other short films Audra has done.

“They’re great,” she said. “I am very lucky that I had four other people who could go there. Most people couldn’t do such sporadic, artistic things for 48 hours.”

They worked on two Apple laptops (they had a third, but experienced technical glitches that ate up about 6 hours on Saturday night) and used FinalCutPro and AfterEffects software.

Despite the glitches, Rauner kept them together.

” It was great to be ‘on set’ and see how well she handled the task of directing,” Shahboz said. “A project like this could be easily derailed if there was not one strong leader in place.”

Audra and her team — they called themselves “The [Witty Word] Saints” — completed a practice run in advance.

In Tallahassee, they did their work in the campus ministry basement of the First Baptist Church.

“I ate a lot of pizza and pancakes,” she said.

The entire team got sick. “We got sore throats Saturday night. Pretty much every one of us who went got sick from a combination of no sleep and something we picked up up there.”

Audra said when they finished the film — they re-sequenced it just a couple hours before it was due — she didn’t think it was good. But then when she showed it to her class back in Gainesville, it helped.

“They were pretty impressed because of the 48-hour time limit,” she said. “They know how hard it is to do a 5-minute film, even when you have two weeks to work on it.”

After she graduates and has more free time, she plans to polish the film. “I like having good work,” she said. “It could be good work. I hope to get portfolio work out of it. I learned a lot.”

Rauner’s path to filmmaking

Rauner is a Bright Futures scholarship student. She attended Pasco Hernando Community College via dual enrollment and completed her AA degree in 2008 in Studio Art.

She entered Santa Fe’s Digital Media Technology program in fall 2008 and is almost finished a two-year AS degree.

In the process, she has won ADDY awards from the Advertising Federation of Gainesville for public service announcements for LifeSouth and Kanapaha Park. She also won an AdFed scholarship, designed to encourage and recognize up-and-coming designers.

Rauner interns with Rock-It TV and she also works part-time in Santa Fe’s digital photography studio with the lights and green screens.

“I’m the set up and move it girl,” she jokes.

She is already lining up paid freelance photography and video projects, and plans to continue in that mode post graduation.

“I’m not looking for a corporate job,” she said.

Digital Media Spring Showcase April 29 

Rauner is one of several Digital Media “stars” who will be showing their work at the Digital Media Spring Showcase at SF, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, April 29 in the President’s Gallery, in the Administration Building.

The event is free and open to the public, and anyone interested in learning more about digital media training at Santa Fe is welcome to attend. Students will be showing their portfolios and instructors will be present to answer questions about the program.

And based on Audra’s experiences and successes, Shahboz said the Digital Media department has been inspired to run their own 48 Hour Film Festival that will be open SF students and anyone abroad. Look for that to happen in spring 2011.

For more information, please contact Digital Media Program Coordinator Jorge Ibanez at 352-395-5979 or go online to http://dept.sfcollege.edu/graphics/.