Tech needs a film program

October 25, 2012





I guess an alternative title for this column could be, “Why Tech needs a film program, but probably won’t get one because of the insidious budget cuts prevailing over everything for the past three years.”


I thought that was a little long.


Looking at the hypothetics of the situation though, supposing there was not such a thing as budget cuts and Tech could jumpstart any program they so desired, I would recommend one for film.


Now, for the duration of this column, let us pretend that budget cuts don’t exist, so that you can read it in two different ways — the things that the cuts are keeping us from having, and the benefits the university would gain with a film program.


Film is important in this day and age where television (whether we like it or not) has become the artistic medium of choice for most people.


Instead of going to graduate school, some postgraduates go straight to YouTube where they just start making short films, without the help of a studio or producers — exemplifying what it means to have a truly independent film.


There will always be students who are interested in English and the humanities, but a film program would allow students to meld the artistic and the practical natures of their interests.


Too many programs these days are so focused on only the artistic nature of their subject and not what students can actually do with it or vice versa.


In film, which includes mastery of technology as a major component of its curriculum, it also provides a haven for creative writing to take place.


What is so ironic to me about Tech (and every other university in Louisiana that doesn’t have film) is that there are so many opportunities in this state to get work in film.


Labeled the “Southern Hollywood” by many of those in the industry, film in Louisiana is a booming business and growing.


Moonbot Studios, located in Shreveport, won an Academy Award for best animated short film this past year for “ The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessermore.”


Also, the German visual effects company, Pixomondo, which worked on films such as “Red Tails” and the Academy Award winning “Hugo,” opened in Baton Rouge this year.


A few weeks ago, the Louisiana Film Prize showcased 20 short films that competed against each other for a grand prize of $50,000.


These opportunities don’t even include the many extra positions that are available to work on in films shot in Shreveport and New Orleans.


So as far as film goes in Louisiana, it is a happening enterprise and with a degree, there would be qualified students from Tech getting even better jobs in the industry, which would then bring more attention to Louisiana Tech University.


Louisiana is also rich with story ideas, stemming from the state’s folkloric nature. Screenwriters coming out of Louisiana could provide fresh perspectives and a deeper look at the state of the state of Louisiana.


I am so tired of watching movies and seeing the director or writer educated at an ivy league sc hool or some liberal arts college.


There is a tremendous amount of stuff up-and-coming writers could utilize from the culture of Louisiana. If you don’t believe me, watch the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”


I really do believe that there are even more ways in which a film program would benefit students and Tech equally.


Maybe one day…


Patrick Boyd is a senior English and journalism major from Choudrant who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to gpb009@latech.edu.


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