We asked a couple of the students working on ChomPics to write up a post for our blog detailing their personal experience with the project. Check out what the director for the first episode, Kate Wenzel, has to say! :
Randomly stumbling upon a MyCJC newsletter in my inbox was one of the best mishaps I’ve ever made throughout my journey as a student at UF. When reading the letter I came across an opportunity to be involved in a project that involved producing a television series with fellow peers. I’d never really been involved within the school, yet major motion pictures piqued my interest so I put myself out there and went to the “getting involved” meeting for this project and little did I know this project would change my perspective on everything I’d want to do after I graduate.
I originally submitted an application to become a director and art director. I’ve always produced and directed my own films but thought that directing a show like this would give me an opportunity to venture down a path of exploration and fun. I received an email that I was chosen as the position of “Director” and opted to direct the pilot episode. Through casting, pre-planning and storyboarding four hours a night for a week straight, this vision of mine suddenly came to life. Filming, however was an entirely different story. Being on set with 20+ kids who all have the same vision of being a part of something great would send chills down my spine, every single day. All of my peers strived for excellence take after take and the smiles were constant, more so after lunch breaks. Yet, no matter how long we were filming everyone came together to make this project one for the books. I learned with this project that the episode is not over until it’s over. When finished filming we went straight into the editing lab and I literally mean straight into the lab bearing USB Drives and a positive attitude. Editing every night for hours on end can get very tedious, yet even when the nights were getting long and our eyeballs were on the cusp of burning from staring at the screen so long the editors for my episode persisted to continue and we wouldn’t break until we were all satisfied knowing that we accomplished everything we could that night to make this episode “stand out.”
This project has been more than just yelling “quiet on the set” until I lost my voice. This project really propelled me into realizing that directing is something I want to do the rest of my life. Being a senior in the CJC can be intimidating especially when the only “Production” opportunities are within the realm of news. My whole college journey I’ve debated on whether or not news was the right fit for my life post-college. This project helped me decide what I truly love to do and that’s make films or TV shows, make these productions come to life, make the audience fall in love with these scripts and see the mutual love of people’s appreciation for the art of making quality film. When I graduate I can easily see myself independently producing my own surfing and skating films but also getting involved within TV production.
Getting involved with Chompics is more than just joining another student organization within the CJC, it’s becoming a part of a family. Everyone with this project just wants to be successful. Everyone wants to make quality work to show off and say “yeah, I helped make this.” This project so far has already exceeded my expectations more than I could ever describe. The relationships I’ve made and team work I’ve experienced on set are just small parts of the vitally important skills that I’ll carry on with me throughout the entirety of my film-making career. Chompics is setting standards for quality of work that should be produced in this college. I am proud to represent such an amazing project in its beginning stages and I can only hope that this project carries on for years and years to come. Why? Simple. This project is more than just another project to me. This show made me realize what I want to pursue for a living and I hope that others can experience that same realization. To all students who have questioned joining this process. I just want to say don’t second guess yourself, it’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make while you’re a student at the University of Florida. Welcome to the Chompics family and Go Gators!
– Kate Wenzel