CEPA launched Spotlight Studio in 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic as a way to provide performance opportunities outside of the stage. This was accomplished first through The Black Box by Spotlight Studio, a dramatic audio performance podcast that showcased original scripts written and directed by Spotlight members. Now, Spotlight has advanced its efforts further by opening avenues for its members into film production.
Why is it Important?
One of Spotlight’s goals is to provide performance opportunities. Until last year, these were primarily focused on creating live events. Transitioning to digital audio and film production provides a new opportunity for members to gain knowledge in the performing arts while showcasing their leadership and talent. Film and theatre also include many similar elements, which allows for a natural transition.
Miss Christmas Business- Spotlight Film
Meet Director Lacey Pierson and Saints in the Spotlight
How exactly did we make a film?
Spotlight Studio was created as a digital media platform for more performance opportunities for Spotlight club members.
The Black Box Podcast by Spotlight Studio
The Blackbox Podcast by Spotlight Studio was created. The podcast scripts were written by Spotlight members and recorded. The interest in script writing was astounding. One podcast, “A Hallmark Christmas“ written and directed by Lacey Pierson, sparked the idea: “What if this was a movie?”
Converting the Script
When the script was first written it was made for voice acting for the podcast. The first step to creating the film was to adapt the podcast script. Director Lacey Pierson made notes for changes and edited the script for the next step.
Create a Storyboard
Lacey then had to draw a storyboard, which is a collection of drawings that show what shots are needed for the film. They often include dialogue and notes from the director. This is needed for every shot throughout the film.
After the Storyboard…
After the storyboard, then there’s: Production meetings, Casting, Hiring crew, Location scouting, Rehearsals, Equipment/prop acquisition, Makeup, Set dressing, then filming starts!
Time to Film!
With Lacey, two cameras, hair and makeup, set dressers, and the cast, the short was filmed within one weekend. The prep work and dedication that was put into it, made it possible to film in that timeframe.
The fun isn’t over yet.
Great, filming is done, now what? Time for editing, which takes a lot of time and commitment. This includes a narrative cut, audio editing, adding sound effects, music, color, transitions and titles. All of this takes place so we have the Final Cut.
Sidewalk Film Festival
The Sidewalk Film Festival is an annual film festival taking place during the last weekend in August in the Theatre District of Birmingham, Alabama. It is recognized as the largest film festival in Alabama and supports creative arts of all kind, including student short films like the one Lacey created.
Miss Christmas Business will be premiering on Saturday, August 28, at 10am in the “Teen Shorts” category.
Thanks to Our Sponsors!
“Miss Christmas Business” was made possible by Dave and Lori Elmore, Brian Worley, State Farm and Hargray. Spotlight is supported by Hargray, Trussell, Funderburg, Rea, Bell, & Furgerson, P.C., Goodgame Co. and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.