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Film Studies Program
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
610.526.5334

Bryn Mawr College: Film Studies Program

Michelle Zauner
CLASS OF 2011


Major: Independent Major in Creative Production

WHAT FILM CLASSES HAVE YOU TAKEN? Intro to Film, History of Narrative Cinema, Identification in Cinema, Soviet and Eastern European Cinema of the 1960s, Film Theory, Advanced Video Production, Screenwriting and Film/Video Production I & II at Penn

HAVE YOU DONE ANY FILM-RELATED INTERNSHIPS OR SUMMER PROGRAMS?
I've volunteered at the Philadelphia Film Festival. Currently I'm interning at R5 Productions, which is a DIY production company that helps coordinate and promote live music events, which definitely has some similarities to organizing and promoting film events. Next semester I really hope to find an internship involved with video editing.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STUDY FILM? WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT FILM STUDIES?
I think I've always been obsessed with anything involving some sort of narrative. I've always been a bit of a romanticist with an incredible suspension of disbelief, and I was interested in studying how these effects occur, identity delusions and other people that experience them and why.

DO YOU ATTEND ANY FILM-RELATED EVENTS ON CAMPUS? OFF-CAMPUS? ANY HIGHLIGHTS?
All the time. The Philadelphia Film Festival was a great experience, I love the BMFI film series and Ihouse puts on incredible events. Definitely attending the Werner Herzog lecture at Penn was my highlight. Watching Werner Herzog talk about getting shot, "walking the earth" and shut down some hipster kid who asked if he knew that Ian Curtis (of Joy Division) killed himself in the middle of watching one of his films was pretty great.

ANY THOUGHTS ON WHETHER OR NOT YOUR FUTURE PLANS WILL INVOLVE FILM?
Definitely! If not career-wise, I will always be watching, discussing, questioning and making film.

IS/WAS YOUR THESIS FILM-RELATED? WHAT IS IT ABOUT? PLEASE PROVIDE A TITLE IF YOU HAVE ONE.
Absolutely! The first semester of my senior year I plan on working on a collection of short stories, one of which I'm going to be adapting into a short film for my second semester thesis. Words can not express how stoked I am for this.

HAVE YOU MADE ANY FILMS OR VIDEOS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT? PLEASE GIVE A TITLE, DESCRIPTION, AND/OR LINK.
I've made several films over the course of the last five years. My most recent short film was entitled "Butchery" and focused around two Butchers on their lunch break observing and critiquing women, essentially "butchering" them with their judgments. I tried focus on a lot of feminist film theory I've studied during my time at Bryn Mawr, particularly with the use of extreme high and low angles and the "male gaze". I've currently been editing a short documentary about a trip I made last summer with two good friends of mine (and incredible musicians in the upcoming band And And And myspace.com/andandandmusic) to a trailer in the middle of the woods in Oakland Oregon. The documentary captures what it was like for two days when three musicians (the two friends and myself) escape to seclusion to write, record and produce an eight track album.

ANYTHING YOU'D WANT TO SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING TAKING A FILM STUDIES CLASS, OR CONSIDERING A MINOR OR INDEPENDENT MAJOR IN FILM STUDIES?
Do it! And particularly with Video Production courses, accept that nothing will ever turn out the way you imagine it or want it to. Like pursuing any art, it's a constant struggle with expectation, ability, time and means, but whether or not you're satisfied with your work, it can only get better! Also, start with simple ideas, simple production that require little means, that way more time can be focused on your craft than your lack of resources!

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