Scene One Film Club is a club designed for students, filmmakers and film lovers. The club saw the pandemic as an opportunity to create more films to help the world recover from COVID-19.
Michael Prieto, a 21-year-old ECC student residing in Lennox, works as a production assistant and is the president of the Scene One Film Club.
“For now, I am required to organize and lead the meetings. There isn’t much else that I had to do in depth, ”Prieto said.
Prieto and the other members of the film club board, including Martin Gonzalez, encourage students interested in filmmaking to join their club and keep their club open to students of all majors.
Gonzalez, an ECC student who resides in Los Angeles, is the club’s CTO, overseeing the movie club equipment made available for hire to club members.
“One of the best options that schools give students is the opportunity to jump in and learn how to make films and get involved in the process,” Gonzales said.
Another ECC student, Keala Fitisemanu, resides in Torrance and is the club’s treasurer, which requires her to be in charge of the budget list and tracking where the club’s funds go. Fitisemanu is also influential in encouraging students to enroll.
“We all contribute to club meetings and create a fun and safe environment for students to learn and have a group of friends to go to,” said Fitisemanu.
The pandemic has affected various responsibilities for the Scene One Film Club, including networking and the painstaking considerations taken for filmmaking.
“Scene One Film Club is a hub for students that provides a great start to networking. When people join our club on Discord, we come up with roles that people would like to place themselves in, ”Prieto said. “Things are back to normal in terms of filmmaking. There is certainly a huge checkpoint you need to go to, including vaccination checks or COVID testing. “
Gonzalez said that it is necessary to take care when making short films.
“You have to make sure everyone is testing negative, wearing masks and social distancing,” Gonzalez said.
Fitisemanu says the pandemic has forced filmmakers to balance security with art.
“The pandemic has allowed people to come together in a certain way and build community through social media and movies,” Fitisemanu said. “We can find common ground through stories that are really great.”
Discussing the roles played by the films, Prieto said that the films serve as a distraction for people to forget about what is going on in the world around them.
“Movies can also remind us that we can move beyond these [unprecedented] times, ”Prieto said.
Gonzalez agrees with Prietos’ point of view, saying the pandemic has made accessing movies easier and simpler.
“These days, movies can be streamed online. By streaming movies, we can save lives, ”said Gonzalez.
Due to the pandemic, some board members have not had the opportunity to meet with club members and organize events in person.
“The films would bring people together and form a community once things got back to normal. We would be able to come back in person and the films would help to feel comfortable with people and to be face to face rather than online, ”said Fitisemanu.
Although not in person, Film Club executives believe it is essential to be involved in the film industry as an actor, producer or director.
“The film itself is a perfect platform for these roles to shine. For directing and acting, they really bring those stories to life. Cinema is a great platform to share stories about people who have been marginalized in the past and the daily struggles we face, ”said Gonzalez.
Fitisemanu said these roles play a crucial role in storytelling and raising voices. She says the films have led to learning opportunities in a variety of ways.
“It’s a privilege to be able to share lessons and stories with everyone visually and it’s interesting to see how people interpret it. It gives people the opportunity to talk about taboos or things that make people uncomfortable. I think that’s what makes the world go round and builds unity, ”said Fitisemanu.
The club aim to tell a number of stories through their films and strive to avoid repeating themes.
“I really like to keep my inspiration up my sleeves. I’m a huge fan of music and satire, so I try to incorporate that into my films, ”Prieto said.
Each member of the club’s board of directors has a unique perspective on what they want to see reflected in their films.
“Tackling stories on a personal level and showing the hardships people are going through is something that I’m very interested in producing,” Gonzalez said.
Fitisemanu hopes to add perspective through his films and encourage others to help those in difficulty.
“My passion behind making films is to make people feel that they are not alone in what they are going through and to help people understand and be grateful for their lives,” says Fitisemanu. “Be a part of empowering films that inspire people to make positive changes in the world. “
The club attracts a wide range of people, such as Hailee Pitschke, a 19-year-old student and ICC representative from the Scene One Film Club. Pitschke is not a filmmaker and has not made films, however, Pitschke finds films interesting to analyze.
“Media literacy is so important and it’s something that is so underestimated. I like to watch projects that have the nuance that tackles global issues and I think the films have a good take on that, ”Pitschke said.
Members of the Scene One Film Club Board of Directors strive to advance their profession using the resources provided by the club.
The club plans to hold a film festival to be held on Friday, May 29, 2022. More information about the film festival will be posted on the Scene One Film Club Instagram page.