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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Film club is ready for a close-up

Camera operator Jessica Fisher pushes in for a dolly shot on May 8 on the set of “Marbles.” (Photo by Courtney Johnson/The Inquirer 2010)

“Back to one!” Seth Craven shouts, and the scene is quickly reset.

The camera is pushed back on its dolly to the starting position, its lenses carefully adjusted.  
The child actor, set in frame, makes faces at the camera as he waits.

Welcome to Montair Elementary School, transformed for the weekend into the movie set of “Marbles,” a short film written and directed by Craven.

He and his colleagues last semester formed the DVC Film Club to shoot student productions and become a film showcase for students. Craven is its president.

Starting out with only seven members, the club expanded to 16 after the screening of its first film.

Every semester the club votes on screenplays submitted by their members, with the winning screenplay being filmed.

This time it was Craven’s film “Marbles,” the story of a young boy’s attempt to overcome a bully.

Before coming to DVC, Craven, 24, spent two and a half years studying film at the Brooks Institute of Photography.  For him, the club is as much about teaching film-making as it is about producing films.

While at the Brooks Institute, Craven gained an appreciation for the apprentice-style teaching used at private film schools, where students are given minimal instruction and then thrown straight into thick of things.  

At the same time he sees some room for improvement in the system.

“We’ve kind of changed that a little bit to where it’s more like you’re working under someone and watching and learning as you go,” he says.

Craven recalls his “Ah-hah” moment the first time he worked on a big movie set.  “Like, this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

Until then, he says, he was “just a kid who watched movies.”

Craven seems to be inspiring his fellow club members.

“I love making films,” says First Assistant Director Alyssa Lempesis, as she hurries around the set, wrangling cast and crew to where they need to be.  “I love movies, I love the process, I love working with a group to realize a vision.”

Across the school, Jeremy Piper disassembles a c-stand from an earlier setup.  Though this is not the glamorous part of movie-making, he doesn’t seem to mind.

“I want to learn it all so that I can do everything,” he says.


Contact Scott Baba at [email protected]

The DVC Film Club will be having a film festival on June 12 on campus in the Forum.  Admission will be $5 and included will be a screening of some footage from “Marbles.”


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About the Contributor
Scott Baba
Scott Baba, Opinion editor
Opinion editor, spring 2011. Staff member, spring and fall 2010.

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Film club is ready for a close-up