Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Independent Filmmakers: Southwestern University, A Video Experience

Scott Rocher, Project Director
Caley Thomas, Sam McFarlane & Sean O’Neil

Last year, sophomore Scott Rocher created the Independent Filmmakers, an organization providing a creative outlet for all students through the film medium. Faced with months of financial difficulties, the organization was given new life, through the King Creativity Grant. Junior Sam McFarlane, sophomore Caley Thomas, first-year Sean O’Neil, and Rocher proposed that the money supplied by the King Creativity Fund go to support their efforts to create a 10-15 minute video representation of Southwestern University, specifically for the purpose of new student recruitment. The grant allowed for the purchase of several core components essential to starting a working video production unit.

The four filmmakers were awarded $6,000, the largest grant of the 2001-2002 grant pool. With the funds, the organization purchased a real-time non-linear editing system used to import, edit, and export digital video with minimal computer processing time. In addition, a tripod, crane, tapes, and accessories were purchased with the funds. With an additional grant from admissions, the organization was able to acquire a professional quality Canon XL1s digital video camera.

Equipped with the new cinematic tools, the group has begun to create the new admissions video for Southwestern. It has been roughly eight years since Southwestern utilized the video medium in their admissions process. The video is in its final shooting stages, and will require many hours of complicating editing before the final product can be duplicated and sent out to prospective students.

Many out-of-state students who are unable to travel to Southwestern to visit will use this video to take a closer look at the university without traveling to Texas. This in turn provides Southwestern’s admissions and public relations staff with a new tool for bringing a more diverse and enriched group of students to Southwestern. One aspect of the future goals of the filmmakers includes keeping the recruitment video updated, free of cost to the university.