Aug. 7, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
Like so many athletes, college and professional, Georgia Tech Volleyball players put great emphasis on film study — be it of themselves to improve their games or their future opponent in preparation for the next match.
It shouldn’t surprise if Wimberly Wilson seems to be paying closer attention to these film sessions this season.
That’s not to say that the junior libero/defensive specialist hasn’t been focused in the past. Of course, she has. But that focus was pretty much limited to what was on the film.
Her extra focus this season will be more of an appreciation for HOW the film has been made.
The extra interest in aesthetics is a result of a study group in which she participated over the summer, which took Wilson and six other students to Costa Rica. She spent approximately three weeks in Central America, learning about the different facets of filmmaking. She came home not only with a new perspective on film production but her very own movie. It’s hers from script to finished product.
“It’s called ‘Experiment 33-284.’ You can actually find it on You Tube,” she said. “The end result was really awesome. I really enjoyed my time there.”
(Here’s a link to the 8:52 short for your enjoyment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dsW0dSkyU0&sns=em)
So what’s it about?
Wilson, a big fan of science fiction — she and teammate Courtney Felinski are huge Sci-Fi followers — calls director J.J. Abrams (TV series “Lost,” “Fringe,” and “Person of Interest,” and movies “Star Trek,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”) a big influence
“This whole film is very ‘Lost’ like,” she said. “The movie is about two hikers who come to an abandoned kind of science community and they decide they’re going to spend the night there. But they don’t realize that one of the experiments the scientists worked on there is actually still living in the camp sight.”
The program, which she found on Google, and earns her six credits towards her major, gave her greater respect for Abrams and filmmakers everywhere, especially when it comes to time commitment and attention to detail.
“It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience,” she said. “What I didn’t realize was that when you film a film you have to film one scene like eight to 10 times to make sure you get it right and you have to film it from all different angles. So when you edit it you can cut from one angle to the next. I had no idea it took so much time. We got the whole movie done in a week, which was insane — the amount of time filming. We’d film for maybe 12 hours a day. It was ridiculous.”
Wilson also learned to diversify, a necessity with only seven people in the group.
“That was a little bit complicated. We needed about four people to work cameras, work lights, that sort of thing,” she said. “That that really only left three people to act. That included our professor. He had a part. We had two people that did the acting and then we had one person play the monster and we kind of just switched out roles. So if my actors weren’t in the scene they were behind the camera. It was very much a crew that acted and then did all the manual work as well.”
Of all the roles, Wilson found editing the most to her liking.
“Being the director was really hard,” she said. “Telling people what to do is an interesting role and I feel like I get to do that kind of as a leader on the volleyball team. But for some reason, when we were filming I just did not have much direction for what would look best because it was the first time I’d ever done a film. So I think I would prefer to be in the editing room.”
When not filming, which they primarily did in San Luis, the group got to travel the country, visiting the capital city of San José, Arenal, where it saw an active volcano — which was smoking while they were there — and the beautiful beaches of Samara.
The group also got to experience a little World Cup fever in advance of “The Ticos” (the Costa Rican team) heading to Brazil, where it advanced to the knockout round, before losing in the quarterfinals on penalty kicks to The Netherlands.
“Everyone was so excited. Everywhere I went they were selling jerseys for ‘Los Ticos,’” Wilson said. “They were all in their jerseys, everyone was talking about it. There was a lot of hype about it.”
Wilson laughed when asked about any hype surrounding her movie, although she said it has received thumbs-up’s on the whole.
“My friends and family think it’s fun,” she said. “It’s really just a nice little student film. It’s nothing major at all. But still most of the people have liked it. They thought it was kind of funny.
“My parents think I’m a five-star director now,” she added, with a laugh. “They tell me I’m going to be Oscar nominated someday.”
And what if this film does resurface some day, when those nominations come in?
“Oh, man, I feel like if I did go into producing movies and I started making big-budget movies and I saw this one, I’d be like, ‘Ooooh, that’s a little embarrassing,’” she said, with a laugh. “It was fun, though. I think I’d look back on it with fond memories because it was a lot of work. But it certainly is a student-budget film.”
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