A fun time making high-quality films: Film Club Highlight

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“To have fun making high-quality films and be, like, you know, committed to the craft of filmmaking. The main goal is just to have fun while doing what you love, and in the process, you'll get amazing results, “ said Kyungmin Lee ‘24, president of Film Club, on what he wants to leave behind after graduating from DePauw. Lee is a senior film studies major as well as the founder and president of DePauw Film Club. The DePauw sat down with Lee to highlight his club and the journey that he had leading up to the current success and future of the club.

Lee initially spoke about where his passion for films and filmmaking started.

“I was inspired by watching filmmakers' interviews and actors' interviews and they all had their own film club or acting club while they were growing up and in college. And I felt like that would be a really good opportunity to grow your skills.” Lee shared.

Lee was initially inspired by a YouTube channel called Derek Comedy, a college comedy group that was formed by a student acting group. This channel inspired him to create a community of filmmakers at DePauw. 

“What made me want to start Film Club was the fact that DePauw did not have any club or any organization that had anything to do with film production. And what I wanted to do was film production, and I felt like there was no place to go or no group where I could consistently make movies. And so I'm like, how Thanos once said, ‘Fine, I'll do it myself.’ I'll make this club so that I can have more opportunities to create films because that's what I love to do.”

Lee then divulged the struggles he faced in his first years as president. 

“I was by myself and I was running everything. I was president, and there was no other exec member, so I was running the club by myself, with a little help from Luis Avila ‘24, my partner in crime. But, it was really tough to organize everything. Like talking with people to pick which room to book and then making posters, advertising and talking to people, recruiting people was a little tough. I got a little help from a couple of friends. But, at first, it was really tough. Before each meeting, I would be preparing like two to three hours of material because I knew there would be younger students that would join the club, and it just needed a lot of preparation before each meeting.”

Lee then says how things are different currently in terms of workload and number of people in the club.

“Now I kind of have a feel of what I'm doing. I have more students that are willing to help with planning the film club. That's been better, and I'm really thankful.”

Since its inception to now, Lee and Film Club have been incredibly successful, with multiple film premieres, appearances in convocations, and appearances in he Pulliam Instagram. Thus far in the history of Film Club, there have been three major film successes, which include Guardian Angel, Spark, and ShellCrack. Lee discussed his experience with both Guardian Angel and ShellCrack on how the production of each was different in terms of workload, student involvement, and the excellence of the final product. 

Guardian Angel was my first film, so I had no idea what I was doing. It was for a Creating A Short Film class with Brian McNeil. Shout out to Brian; I really like him. It was for a class, and I didn't really know what I was doing, and surprisingly, all of my classmates ditched me, so I was like a one-man show. And I think that process really showed me how to learn a lot of every area of filmmaking. And it kind of gave me a solid foundation of what I can do or what I can make with film. The end product of Guardian Angel was pretty satisfactory because it was the first thing I made, and I kind of really have a personal connection to that project because everything I did, I did it on my own, and so it was pretty good. But it was really fun because it was personal, like the script was mine, everything was mine. But of course, people helped me, but it was just a fun process.”

Lee explained how ShellCrack was different from the experience with Guardian Angel.

Shellcrack was definitely the most advanced film production I've done because at first, I wanted to resort back to my old ways of filmmaking of ‘I’ll do everything on my own.’ But I realized that I can do it together with people, so I like assembled the Avengers, you know.”

Lee said working on Shellcrack gave him the opportunity to bond with people who are equally as passionate about film and filmmaking.

“ I built bonds with people who are passionate and hardworking to help me, and I think that paid off greatly because the quality of production just skyrocketed because we're such a good team together,” Lee added. “In this experience of making Shellcrack, I felt like I could grow in all the areas of filmmaking, each area I grew a certain amount because I got so much help and freedom to be creative. Because this is a bigger production, I definitely learned a lot, and made a lot of memories doing it.”

Lee then elaborated on how he’s seen Film Club progress and grow. 

“What I'm seeing is people coming consistently,  people being more passionate during the meetings, people being engaged in conversation, and getting more comfortable with talking, and just, like, overall having fun, which is one of the most important things. So, like, people genuinely having fun and enjoying our time together making films is a big goal that I think we are achieving. So I'm really happy,” Lee said. He hopes more people will join the Film Club because while it might seem overwhelming, doing something is better than doing nothing.

Currently, the Film Club is busy working on various projects that are yet to be completed including a music video and a new film. 

“Well, in this near future, I see us just learning and growing together in film, in filmmaking and just collaborating with each other, just getting to know each other better and to know how to work better with each other. And we're definitely going to gain more experience and we're going to know what we're doing. And in the future, after I graduate, I hope I leave the Film Club with a solid foundation of leaders. And, an exec board that can run Film Club and come up with creative projects to, like, continue to produce high-quality films, at DePauw, and that is the goal to have fun making high-quality films and be, like, you know, committed to the craft of filmmaking,” Lee explained his long-term goal for the club

Lee ends by leaving a final remark on what he hopes to accomplish after graduation.

“My dream is to be a writer and director of films that people around the world can watch and hopefully after watching them, people will feel certain things and hopefully it'll lead to more love and a stronger bond between people.”