The two weeks following the end of the 2023 academic school year were not a quiet summer respite for 14 students of the communication department at Walla Walla University. Instead, the days, and sometimes late nights, were filled with costumes, cameras, and a clapperboard.
The communication students were helping on set with the production of a short film produced by the WWU Center for Media Ministry. Set in 1909, the film follows five women who move to Walla Walla to start new lives for themselves. The project was written by Josie Henderson, a 2020 alumna of the Cinema, Religion, and Worldview (CRW) master’s program, and is considered a proof of concept in hopes of being developed into a series. According to lead producer Matthew Webster, also a CRW graduate, the film focuses on the concept of showing love rather than hate, and how the concept affects those around us.
Along with high hopes of further development, the project also served as an excellent educational tool to expose students to a professional film set, provide hands-on experience, and help them build their filmmaking portfolios.
Eighteen professionals, including talent and crew, flew in for the production. Richard Ramsey, who is known for directing movies such as "The Song," "Unsung Hero," and "Plus One at an Amish Wedding," directed the filming across several locations around southeast Washington and northern Oregon.
While students had valuable interactions with film industry professionals throughout the week, the final day of filming was especially exciting. Scenes were shot in Dayton, Washington, at the Dayton Historic Depot. Part of the set included a train car which is normally parked in Walla Walla and had to be transported all the way from Olympia to be at the shoot.
This project is one of three that received funding in the fall. You can read more about upcoming productions in this article about the Center of Media Ministry summer projects.
Posted June 29, 2023.