Friday, October 12, 2012

Announcing the winner of the Open Frame Script Contest

This year's winner of the Open Frame script contest is:


by Kyle McClellan

hopefully we'll all watch THE GUEST on the screen of the Palace Theatre this coming April 20th.

Congratulations to Kyle and to all of the entrants of this year's script contest.  A HUGE thank you, too, to each of the alumni jurors.  Your time reading and responding to these scripts will be invaluable to these writers as they move into the production process.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Documentary Resources

the Ohio Arts Council -

the National Endowment for the Humanities -

Sundance Documentary Fund -


the D-Word -

International Documentary Association Website -

Independent Film Project (ifp)

The Film Collaborative

Documentary Films on Vimeo -


List at the Documentary Site:




List at the Documentary Site:


An Introduction to Budgeting (Bahar) -

Realistic Budgeting for Documentaries (Brown) -

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scriptwriting Contest

One of the first events of each Open Frame year is the Script Writing Contest.  This contest is open to any student currently enrolled at Malone University.   We *hope* that the scripts submitted will not just result in better writers and good feedback (which they do), but that they will also result in great short films!

Scripts may be in any genre. Fresh innovative stories told in a cinematic way are best. Scripts may range from one minute to sixteen minutes (one minute = one page in screenplay format). Scripts must be submitted in standard screenplay format. Scripts MUST include a title page, but may NOT include the authors name. (we recommend

You should submit your script by email to Andrew Rudd at his Malone email address and your script should be in PDF format. Again, with a title, but NO authorial name. In the email you attach your script to, you should list your name, phone number, and the script name.  

Each year talented Malone Alumni jury the scripts that are turned in -- which means that each script gets feedback from at least three judges including both numerical ratings and some narrative feedback.   You'll find, as an emerging writer, that getting serious feedback from good writers and readers is a rarity and a real privilege.  I encourage you to enter the contest just for this benefit alone. 

Scripts are due on September 17th, 2012 at 8:30 am. Contest winners will be announced on October 12th at 8pm on the Open Frame Blog. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 - 13 Schedule

Rush - Wednesday, August 29, 5 - 7

Open Frame Open House - Friday, August 31 from noon - 3

Open Frame Mixer - Sunday, September 9th from 7 - 9

Script Competition Deadline - September 17th at 8:30 a.m.

Announcement of Script Winners - October 1 at 8 pm

Partner Event - Canton Film Fest - October 4 - 6

Mini Grant Deadline 1 - October 22, 8 am

Mini Grant Deadline 2 - December 17, 8 am

Mini Grant Deadline 3 - January 28, 8 am

Submissions to the Festival - April 10

Open Frame Film Festival - April 20

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Welcome to the Open Frame Film Fest Blog.

Many of you are new students coming to Malone University this year for the first time.  We're excited that you're joining our community -- and glad that we have more film - lovers and film - makers joining us on campus.  Hopefully you'll find by browsing this blog that we have a thriving community of filmmakers that are a part of the Malone University community.  Students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and community members -- hundreds of people each year help our students make films which are then screened at our Open Frame Film Fest.

The Open Frame is NOT just a festival -- it's also a student-co-curricular group that offers students support and development as they make their films.  We offer equipment, training, resources and mentoring to any students who are interested.  Whether you study film in the Communication Arts Department or not -- you're welcome to participate fully in the Open Frame Film Festival.

Some of you are current students, prospective students and former students.  I encourage you to wander around the blog a bit too.  The links on the right hand side give plenty of information about this year and previous years of the Open Frame!

You can contact us by email at and you should "like" our group on facebook.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Open Frame Wrap Up

The Open Frame Film Fest was an exciting, crowded night of celebrating the good work of hundreds of people producing ten films. You can see more pictures and read more about the event if you facebook like the new OPEN FRAME FILM FEST page.

The films included:

Toy Boat

You Can’t Help Me

State of the Union


The Ledge

Skewed Views

Art Wars


Welcome to the Mind of Calpurnia Jones

Don’t F* With Me

The Moviegoers

And the awards:

Best Director-Kaite Fox for ART WARS

Best Producers-Kaitie Fox for ART WARS

Best Actor (Male)-Michael Lawson for THE LEDGE

Best Actor (Female)-Erin Mongtomery for THE LEDGE

Best Cinematographer-Cale Short & Dusty Jenkins for TOY BOAT

Best Sound (Design / Editing)-Michael Garwood for STATE OF THE UNION

Best Original Score-Lauren Seveney for ART WARS

Best Production Design-Jacob Redman for ART WARS

Best Supporting Actor (male / female)-Alaina Chase for STATE OF THE UNION

Non – Malone  Award (Specify name & role)-Derek Urey, Cinematography for THE LEDGE

SPECIAL JURY AWARD-Cale Short for Outstanding Achievement in Experimental Film for HOME and TOY BOAT

Best Original Screenplay-Corinne Abbiss - SILHOUETTES
                                   David Garwood - FAMILY PORTRAIT
                                   Taylor Hazlett - LUCID

Audience Award-Dusty Jenkins, Cale Short & Luke Taylor for TOY BOAT


You Can't Help Me - Artist Statement

Canton native Walt Ackerman Jr. is the subject of our micro-documentary, “You Can’t Help Me.” In his forties, Walt’s addiction to cocaine began. Though his addiction crippled his life in many ways, Walt’s powerful sense of hope is what inspired our film. “You Can’t Help Me” tells the story of a man and his enslavement to a dangerous habit.

One of the greatest difficulties we encountered in filming and producing our micro-documentary was harmonizing the raw truth of Walt’s story with our vision as artists. Filmmaking in any genre is necessarily a creative engagement. With “You Can’t Help Me,” we were forced to stop at every turn to consider whether our artistic decisions were aligned with the integrity of the story we were trying to tell.

When the credits roll, we hope that you will have come to know Walt as more than a cocaine addict, but as a man--a man who has experienced pain and joy, suffering and hope. Our desire is that you will understand Walt’s story as you would the story of a friend, accepting both the beauty and the pain of the truth simultaneously. We hope that we have shared a story that will provide a connection of love and understanding between subject and viewer.

Welcome to the Mind of Calpurnia Jones - Artist Statement

“Welcome to the Mind of Calpurnia Jones” was loosely inspired by a classic German melodrama called “Fear Eats the Soul” (“Fear Eats the Soul” is a film that follows a love affair between a seventy year old white German woman and a young Turkish immigrant. It is NOT funny at all, but it is really good.) and the experiences that my aunt had in the world of online dating back in the early 2000s.

 “...Calpurnia Jones” has been described as a romantic comedy and a non-traditional coming of age comedy. I wouldn’t call “...Calpurnia Jones” a comedy at all. I mean there are like two scenes that I think are pretty funny (and others that seem mildly funny). But I don’t want it to be marketed as a “comedy” because I am not ready to accept the responsibility of making you laugh. “...Calpurnia Jones” is a film... and if you find something funny, please feel free to laugh (even if it wasn’t meant to be funny); but if you don’t laugh, please try to find something meaningful.

The opening scene where Calpurnia removes her weave is (in my opinion) the most important scene in the film.  Sure the results are unrealistic (she would not have an afro that awesome so shortly after getting rid of all that Indian hair), but if you get anything at all from the film, I hope it is from that scene. Calpurnia, like many of us, is trying to find herself and define what it means to be “Calpurnia,” and she is actively responding to the rigid expectations and cultural assimilation to which she was confined by her husband.

We successfully funded the film through kickstarter (which is still pretty unbelievable) and because of that we had enough money to do all kinds of things we normally wouldn’t have been able to do. I am immensely grateful to all of the people who funded the film and all of the amazing people who worked on it with me.

I hope you enjoy “…Calpurnia Jones” even a fraction of how much as I enjoyed making it.

Unbound - Artist Statement

Over a year ago, Corinne and I decided that we wanted to work on a
film that dealt with wildlife. Corinne is a Communications major
interested in making films and enthusiastic in her love for animals,
while I am a Zoo and Wildlife Biology major interested in hosting my
own wildlife show one day. After throwing around several ideas, we
chose to focus our film on wildlife rehabilitation.

Unbound is a documentary, a fairly straightforward piece that
presented some challenges. We couldn't find many documentaries about wildlife rehabilitation, so without a solid model to consult, it was along process of going through the footage and finding the storywithin. Since this documentary included many different animals, thefilming process itself was sometimes unpredictable. Filming was
dependent upon when animals were being brought in, treated, or
released. Often there was only a basic plan of what we wanted to
accomplish on a day of shooting and we would have to improvise. It
took several months of shooting and a massive amount of footage to get
everything we needed. It was an exciting and learning filled

Corinne and I want our film to portray the impact that each human being has on our natural world. The film shows both the wildlife in need, as well as the amazing wildlife rehabilitators who devote somuch of their time to helping these animals. Although these
individuals are taking radical action to aid these creatures, any single person can make a difference. Whether this is trying to limit your carbon footprint, calling a rehabilitator when you find a creature in need, or volunteering at a center, every bit of help matters. We hope our audience realizes that humans have the power to make a difference and will learn to see the beauty of our natural

Toy Boat - Artist Statement

For better or for worse, we made Toy Boat.

When Cale decided to push back work on his initial short film project until next year, Dusty gave him a call to encourage him to make something anyway. The idea was less about making something with concerns about its worth and more about making a short film for practice’s sake. Our purpose was to experiment a little bit and try some new techniques. Cale readily agreed, but neither he nor Dusty had a great idea to go with. Then Luke got involved. The brainstorming began and we built on the idea of recreating the boat scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. On top of that foundation, we piled ideas from our nightmares and from the recesses of our collective subconscious.

Thus, Toy Boat was born. Partly an experiment and mostly a catharsis. But it wasn’t necessarily created by merely goofing around and seeing what we could come up with. Instead, we decided early on that all three of us had to be completed dedicated to the project in order for it to turn out exactly how we wanted it to. There was a great deal of brainstorming, outlining, improvisation, and experimentation involved in the project, and we have certainly learned a good bit in terms of technique. We believe we have achieved the desired outcome with what we have made, but of course, the proof of that will come down to the audience’s response to the project.

We hope to make people feel uneasy. To bring them back to the nightmares that have and still do haunt them. To remind them anew of the feelings they may have felt as a child when they first rode in the boat down Wonka’s tunnel. When we think upon our nightmares, we notice that there is a certain thrill to reliving the horrifying moments we experience in our sleep. It would be delightful if we can make everyone’s skin crawl, or to give them a dose of fear, or at the very least to fill them with disgust. Additionally, we would like to shake things up a bit for the audience and give them something a bit different than what they might choose to watch. Perhaps we are trying to be provocateurs, and maybe we are not doing anyone much good. However, we wanted to work on a project, and ultimately, we hope it will elicit certain emotions. For better or worse.

The Moviegoers - Artist Statement

            This year seems to have been a big year for movies celebrating filmmaking. Obviously a short film titled “The Moviegoers” is no exception. The entire premise of the film is that it’s an homage to Richard Linklater’s film Before Sunrise, where two characters meet by chance and establish a surprisingly strong connection to each other.

            The cast and crew for the film was small, making the experience much more laid back and intimate than many other films I’d worked on. It was nice to work at a good pace, not particularly pressed for time. (It helped that everyone working on this film is exceptionally talented.)

            We tried to create a film with characters who contradict themselves, their conversation partially flirtatious and partially a duel of words. The two main characters seem to have an unspoken struggle between which of them is more interesting, can hold the attention of the other longer. I hope this feeling will be familiar to the audience. This competition of wits is the only way I know how to flirt, and I hope someone else will be able to identify with that condition.

The Ledge - Artist Statement

Last summer I was listening to my Dad (a film maker) churn out his potential pitches. One of those captured my attention so much so that I took it upon myself to “borrow” the idea and explore it with my own creative flair. From the very beginning stages of the process (Andrew Rudd’s playwright class) to post production this project has evolved into a beautifully unique piece.
The Ledge, is not a film about suicide; it is simply a story of a man wrestling with what it means to live. Facing his death, Dan, discovers life through an unexpected encounter with Lily, a sharp and quirky teenager. It is a realist drama with a hint of dark comedy and a splash of wit.
While writing this piece I refrained from writing for the sake of purposely addressing an issue or sending a message. My desire was essentially that the audience would find themselves on a journey with Dan and Lily, knowing things are not always what they seem. And happy endings aren’t always tidy.
During the shooting of this film my cast and crew were subject to nine hours in below freezing conditions to get the job done. Their passion and commitment to this project has flawed me. It has truly been an honor to work with such an amazingly talented group of artists. That’s what we did. We came together to share in our love of creating and as a result produced something to be proud of.

State of the Union - Artist Statement

State of the Union is a civil war period movie that centers around the love of two people who fall on opposite sides of the war. The movie has a variety of locations that add depth to the setting of the movie. It was shot in the historic village of Zoar which was first founded in 1819.
The story of State of the Union evolved out of a deep desire to make a movie that had intriguing plot lines, developed characters, and thrilling elements. I believe that State of the Union completed this goal. One major aide in accomplishing this was the reenactors in their Union and Confederate uniforms who performed battle scenes. The working canon on the set also made the fights come alive.

I hope that the movie entertains the audience and that they will fall in love with the characters as they develop the plot of the film. The actors come from the Malone community; each has done a phenomenal job portraying the characters from the period.  I am thrilled with the finished product and think that the audience will share this excitement. State of the Union is a movie that will surely entertain the viewers as it takes them on a journey through our nation’s history.

Skewed Views - Artist Statement

My goal for this project was to give others the opportunity to see how someone’s lifestyle influences the way that they see the physical world. Paul Miller loves to skateboard and it is a major part of his life, and in turn it shaped his way of seeing everything. I feel that everybody has a different perspective and it is a subconscious and uncontrollable reaction to the things in life that drive an individual. I wanted to make it clear to my audience that this piece wasn’t just about skateboarding, but that everyone can relate to Paul’s story. Everybody shares a common trait as far as having an attribute, skill or desire that helps define who we are, but it is that one thing that also makes us unique. I can’t feel what Paul feels for skateboarding nor can I automatically flip on a switch and see the world as a skate park, like he does. I hope that the audience can get a glimpse of this through his story and can appreciate Paul’s love for what he does and relate to his passion that helps shape his perspective.

Persuaded - Artist Statement

While shopping with my mom and my sisters one day in January, I received a text asking me to enter into the production of Persuaded as director. Not having a real clue about directing film, of course I agreed, and since then I have learned a lot about relationships and people and, of course, filmmaking.

Persuaded is a romantic comedy based on Jane Austen's novel Persuasion. Before you moan “Not another Austen nut” let me reassure you there is nothing bland about this modern day version. It is a whirlwind of activity as Anna is dragged off to play at her ex-boyfriend's wedding rehearsal, gets hit on by another man and is rescued by said ex-boyfriend – all in the same day.

As expected, there are many laughs onscreen, and there were many more off. Many of these laughs were from mixed up lines, some, I will admit, from my amateur directing, but through it all, we've learned to come together as a group to create something bigger than any one of us could have done on our own.
I invite you, the audience, to enter into a world that is far from perfect, but where people learn from one another and how to relate to the people around them in new and different ways. And perhaps you'll find that you, too, are being persuaded.

Home - Artist Statement

Home was a great learning experience for me.  It was the first narrative project that I completed on my own, with the help of my insanely awesome cast and crew on set, of course.  My ghost, Jay Spencer, was even willing to go barefoot in 20 degree weather for the sake of production value.  I ultimately decided against it, but the dedication is truly rare.

The initial concept for this project was to create a tone.  I wanted to make people feel... weird.  From the initial concept I came up with the idea to do a completely bare bones ghost story.  I like to think I succeeded on both counts.

I got a very late start on this project because of difficulties finding a location.  Although it was quite stressful at the time, I really learned a lot about the work that goes into pre-production.  I now have a new appreciation for producers.

The first cut of the film received mostly horrible reviews.  It had a dialogue track over it in which children discussed death and the afterlife.  I thought it would add to the atmosphere and make things a little more disjointed, which is what I wanted.  Apparently it did none of that, so I took it out.  After setting this project aside for an entire semester I found it much easier to go back with new eyes and edit the crap out of it.

The most interesting part of the re-editing process for me was the question, “What do I owe the audience?”  For a long time I thought that I didn’t owe the audience anything and thus I should just make the film that I want to make.  And in some ways I still think that.  However, I had shot a couple things after Home, and I just didn’t feel as attached to it by the time I came back to re-edit it.  So I figured, “Why the hell not, let’s just make this enjoyable.”

This iteration of the film is about half the length of the original, but hopefully double the quality.

Let’s get weird.

Breaking Social Norms - Artist Statement

The idea behind Breaking Social Norms came up one day while at lunch with a group of friends. We started talking about ways society does the same things redundantly. We conversed about how we should create a video on doing those things backwards; however, the idea never took fruit and was pushed aside. It wasn’t until this year when I decided to act on that idea. I knew that I had many good ideas and examples but others had better, so I started asking person after person to think of social norms and ways they could be broken. Even after gathering these good ideas Breaking Social Norms would have never made it off the ground without the help of Stephen Nzishura. He brought new ideas and excitement to the project. He also brought talent for the cameras that I had never used before, and he also took the editing up on his shoulders and made magic out of my shaky camera work.
We shot over seventeen social norms for this video, but only five made the cut. These five we feel are important because society views them as if there is only one way they could be done. Our goal with Breaking Social Norms is to poke fun at society, but more importantly we want to show that there is nothing wrong with being different. God made us unique so why should we let society tell us how to do something?

Pirates of The Fairway - Artist Statement

The idea for Pirates of the Fairway began to form one afternoon as Chris Jones and I were driving down the road. I was telling Chris about an ancestor of mine that had been arrested for being a pirate, but had escaped hanging. About that time, we drove by a golf course and we cracked up at the idea of pirates sauntering across the fairway to dig treasure out of a sand trap. Bing! Script idea!
The original version of the script was much shorter. In fact, it only had one line of dialogue! I expanded the script to see where it would lead and the final version is what is being shown in the Open Frame. The beauty of comedy is it can happen anywhere, with anybody. The best part is the absurdity of the situation! Having extraordinary things happening to ordinary people and watching how they respond is the cornerstone of comedy! Pirates of the Fairway is just that!
We faced quite a bit of challenges throughout the filming process. For one, we had no idea what we were doing! That little fact did not deter us though and we jumped in both feet first! Our greatest challenge was the weather, filming outside in Ohio can be quite challenging; you never know what the weather will be!
As I wrote the script, I was determined for it not to have any hidden meanings, or thought provoking ideas. I just want people to laugh, and be entertained. So, if the audience conceives a message, or deep thought in the film, it is purely accidental! Don’t take life too seriously, you never know what extraordinary circumstance you might find yourself in one day!