Students in Communications Capstone Course Create Short Films From Scratch


Students in the Communications Program’s capstone course, Multiplatform Storytelling, were tasked with the challenge of writing screenplays, storyboarding those screenplays, and then creating short films based on several of the student screenplays chosen by the instructor of the course.

The students in the course also served as the directors, actors, actresses, camera operators and post-production teams for the films.

In essence, the students took a movie idea and from that theme, navigated their way through the writing, storyboarding, production and editing of five short films, collaborating with their peers throughout the process.

“They really did a great job,” said Associate Professor of Communications Pat Farabaugh, the instructor of the course. “They literally navigated every step in the process from not only writing a screenplay and then storyboarding it, but also producing, directing, acting in, and editing a short film.

“And they did a great job in the process.”

Five films were created by the students in the course: “Happy Birthday,” written and directed by Millie Laudenbach; “Hitchhiking Home,” written and directed by Mamie Kyle; “Jenny’s Road,” written and directed by Damian Runk; “Reconnect with You,” written and directed by Dasha Kirby; and “The Girl,” written and directed by Nicolette Belasco.

The plot that everyone in the class started from was a father and daughter duo who stumble upon a girl hitchhiking. The two pick up the girl in their car and deliver her to her home up the road.

When they get to her home, however, she has disappeared from the backseat of their car. The two knock on the door of the house to find a man who says his daughter disappeared years earlier. The father tells them that it was his daughter’s birthday.

“We learned the importance of different aspects of filmmaking,” said Urska Medvesek, a senior in the class.

“This was a fun and interesting project.”

Medvesek’s group, which included Runk, Marina Misitano, Kyle Simmonds, Yosuke Sugano and Derrick Wiley, followed Runk’s storyline of a father-daughter robbery team and a girl who is a ghost, one who traps criminals for their crimes.

“It’s fun to get behind the camera and film these moments during our senior year,” said Runk.

The students applied many of the skills they have been developing over the course of their Communications studies at SFU.

“Communications is about creativity, storytelling and connecting with your target audience,” said Farabaugh. “We have some very talented students in our program and their work on this capstone project reflects just how talented they are.”