Ozarks students make their own movies

Release Date: 11/18/2005

Campus enjoys screening of murder mystery and "mockumentary."

CLARKSVILLE, ARK. (November 18, 2005) -- Two University of the Ozarks students have gone Hollywood, screening two short movies they produced to an enthusiastic campus audience.

Students Diana Confer and Evan Hoffmeyer unveiled a cinematic double feature on November 10 to about 40 viewers in Walker Hall. The pair’s “Another Love Story” is a murder mystery shot entirely on the Ozarks campus, while “Tidbits of Joy”, a comedic “mockumentary” was made in just two days this summer in Little Rock, where it won honors in a nationwide competition.

For “Another Love Story” Confer and Hoffmeyer enlisted Ozarks students and faculty for acting roles and production crew duties in the 12-minute movie. Confer handled directing, dealing with actors and keeping the story on track, while Hoffmeyer was behind the lens, setting up camera shots. Both contributed to the editing of the movie’s final cut.

Confer and Hoffmeyer spent 15-hour days shooting “Another Love Story,” completing filming over two weekends in September, barely six months after Confer conceived and wrote the movie. “I just sat down in my dorm room and started typing. It was the first script I ever wrote,” said the Ozarks senior communications major, who graduated high school from the Arkansas School of Math and Science in Hot Springs, and has completed internships in television news and commercial production.

Cameras and production equipment for “Another Love Story” came from the Ozarks Communications Department, and hungry cast and crew dined on food provided by Ozarks campus food service and local merchants. Confer and Hoffmeyer worked closely with Ozarks Professor of Communications Jane Cater, who supervised their work on the video as a senior project for academic credit.

“This was the first ever (narrative) movie project at Ozarks,” Cater said. “That artists’ vision was there -- the characters really came alive!”

“Tidbits of Joy” was made for The 48 Hour Film Project, in which production crews compete in numerous cities across the United States to make a seven-minute video from start to finish in two days. All entries had to include the same character – “He was an anesthesiologist by day and a greeting card writer by night,” said Hoffmeyer – as well as the same significant prop and same key line of dialogue.

Confer secured positions for Hoffmeyer and herself on a production crew of about 25 people through a producer she knew from one of her internships. “It was fun to work with a professional crew and see how they operate,” said Hoffmeyer, who handled audio duties while Confer raced frantically around Little Rock, delivering footage to editors who had to move fast to complete the movie on deadline.

“Tidbits of Joy” won several awards in the Little Rock competition, including best film. It now goes on to the festival's national competition in March.

Both Confer and Hoffmeyer honed their skills as producers on Ozarks’ campus television newscast. Confer, who will receive her Ozarks degree in December is heading west, decamping from Arkansas to Los Angeles, where she hopes to find full-time work in video production.

“Arkansas is just too small,” said Confer, who visited L.A. after her junior year to scope out opportunities in the entertainment industry. “Now I want to get paid!”

Hoffmeyer, a junior communications major from Duncanville, Texas plans to seek out an internship in television news or video production next summer before returning to Ozarks for his senior year.

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