Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Documentary work on armpits inspires young filmmakers

Having made armpit hair the main topic for a documentary, seniors Rebecca MacFife and Anastasia Andreas are now planning to pursue film after Whitman.

Both students completed introductory and advanced filmmaking classes during their time on campus, studying various techniques and approaches to the art.

“It’s been pretty awesome. We have some pretty good equipment, and the lab for filmmakers is really nice,” said Andreas.

Photo Credit: Ben Lerchin

According to MacFife, her experience with film studies has been particularly interesting because it takes an approach to media as a whole.

“I think the thing that is really unusual about the film program here is it’s film enrolled with other things. The purpose of film theory is not filmmaking itself but to understand film,” said MacFife. “I  think [the department has] given me a more wholesome view of it than if I was just going to a vocational school or something like that.”

Both film students also feel that Whitman provided them with an inspirational environment for their film projects.

“What is useful about Whitman is that you learn other things first and then you have something to make a film about. I think the filmmaking aspect of the rhetoric and film studies major is really good because of the freedom that we have to not make a perfect product right away and to play around and experiment,” said MacFife.

“I think that with being on Whitman campus, one of the really inspirational things is just how many beautiful places we have to shoot film. Some of the statues, all of the greenery and all the buildings are all really beautiful and look really good on screen, so that has been a lot of fun,” said Andreas. “It sort of feels like playing more than actually doing schoolwork.”

This semester, both filmmakers have focused their energies on making a documentary about armpit hair with the tagline “The stuff everyone has but no one talks about.”

“[Documentary filmmaking] has given me the chance to start this conversation that I’ve already been wanting to have anyway. It’s a format I can take advantage of to do things I find interesting. This conversation about armpit hair would not have left my friend group unless I had a camera in my hand,” said MacFife.

After graduation MacFife and Andreas plan to pursue filmmaking in various settings.

Anastasia is taking an internship with a film production studio called KGB Productions, located in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

“They are Whitman graduates and Professor Sickels brought them [to campus] a month ago,” said Andreas. “I’ll probably be helping if they have any shooting days, I’ll go out with them and do whatever they need me to do. I’ll help with editing and office work, and there is a possibility I might help arrange some tours for their films to go on.”

Photo Credit: Ben Lerchin

MacFife plans to pursue video production, but she does not have an final plans at the moment.

“There are a lot of plans that I have, but I don’t know which one is going to happen. In the fall there is an internship with a video production company in New York, so that is possibility,” said MacFife.

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