School of Communications Community Members Play Many Roles at International Film Festival

12238568-sliff-2013From volunteer to executive director and panelist to filmmaker, community members of Webster University’s School of Communications will play many roles at the 22nd annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF).

SLIFF, one of the largest international film festivals in the Midwest, will kick off tonight, Thursday, November 14, and will run until Sunday, November 24. The festival will screen 330 films—75 features, 63 documentary features, and 192 shorts—from around the world. Continue reading

Freelance Filmmaker, Maximilian Reid ’11, On Creativity and the Benefits of Living a Full, Fascinating Life

Maximilian Reid is an LA-based filmmaker.  He is also an intellectual—a multifaceted, creative thinker, a man of many skills, and an all-around remarkable person.


Maximilian Reid, Film Production ’11

A year and a half ago, a recently graduated Max moved to LA, where he says he was happy to work on set for free in order to begin gaining experience and building his résumé. Now, Max says the tricky part, “is knowing when to say, ‘No thank you.’”

Max advises anyone interested in a similar career path to “Spend your time deliberately and your money wisely.”  In the film industry, the route to success often starts as a production assistant.  “And for most people that’s the right path, “ he says. “It’s where I started.  But I’ve found that progress depends on luck, ingenuity, and personality.”

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Ashley Lam, ’11, Freelance Production Assistant: On Hollywood. And Crocheted Beards.

This is Ashley Lam.

Photo 547Ashley graduated in May 2011 with a BA in photography. Now, she lives and works in Hollywood, where she freelances as a Production Assistant. She’s worked on an variety of exciting projects already, including the game show Oh Sit!; the 2012 Burt Reynolds film, How Sweet It Is; and the TV series, Through the Wormhole, with Morgan Freeman.

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How Whitney Gelnett ’10 Landed a Full-Time PA Job in Los Angeles


Whitney Gelnett (BA, Film Production, 2010) took a leap of faith this year when she packed her bags and headed west to Los Angeles. It took some dogged determination but after four months Whitney landed her first full-time gig. She shares her story and some advice for those looking to follow in her footsteps with SCAN:

I need to preface this by saying that this is by no means all you need to know about getting a PA job. This is just how I did it. I was asked to answer these questions in an interview with a friend of mine and figured I’d post them to spread a bit of what I’ve learned out here so far to those of you back in St. Louis or those of you who are curious. Hope it proves useful 🙂

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48 Hours and Bevy of Awards



A pair of teams comprised of several Webster University alumni and students took home some of the top awards from the 2010 St. Louis 48 Hours Film Project earlier this week.

Altered Image Productions — led by alums Zach Ginnever, Stephen Jones and Aaron Wiesen — nabbed the award for Best Directing and its film “Under Construction: The Charles Crosby Story” was named Runner Up for Best Film. Webster student Conor E.K. Dagenfield earned the Best Actor award for his role in the film. Current students Austin Childress, Matt Freeman and Matt Wills also helped produce the film.

Caffeine Tambourine Productions, which included Webster students Thom Murry and Josh Miller, won the audience award for its film, “Delivery to Apartment Q.”

The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which teams of filmmakers make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours. On Friday night, the teams get a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, all to include in the movie. 48 hours later, the movie must be complete. Then it is shown at a local theater, usually in the next week.

In 2009, nearly 40,000 filmmakers made 3,000 films in in 76 cities, including St. Louis.

Webster Well Represented at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

bsdffWebster University’s School of Communications once again will be well represented at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival running Feb. 12-21 in Missoula, Mont. Four current students, three alumni and two faculty members will all be part of the 10-day event.

Cody Stokes (BA, Independent Film Production and Management, 2007) and Stewart Copeland (BA, Film Production, 2008) both have films showing; Sarah Truckey (BA, Media Communications, 2006) will be blogging and Twittering the event; Webster Film Series Director Mike Steinberg remains as festival director; and adjunct professor Cliff Froehlich will serve as judge for the feature competition.

SOC students Jessica Hogan, Jerod Welker, Austin Childress and Ellen MacPhearson were brought on as programming associates. Continue reading

Rob Severson ’05 on Jeopardy!

thumb_wallpaper5What is … what will I watch next week?

Rob Severson (BA, Film Production, 2005) will appear on the popular television game show Jeopardy! in an episode scheduled to air Tuesday, Nov. 17. Sorry, no spoilers.

Severson’s appearance on the show came as little surprise to those who knew him during his Webster days. “It’s a perfect fit,” said Mike Steinberg, Webster University Film Series director. “It’s not a surprise at all. Rob is incredibly bright and very well versed. He was very much like a Renaissance man around the media department the entire time he was here.”

Check local listings for when to watch.

Meet the Author: Johnny Cathcart ’07


Johnny Cathcart (BA, Film Production, 2007) will be at Webster University’s Homecoming Weekend signing copies of his book “Hotpants … a memoir” from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Emerson Library.

Cathcart recently published his first book based on his battle with cancer twice as a teenager and his crazy life, including getting into the film production program in the School of Communications. The book has been out for more than two months and already has received positive reviews. Continue reading