We all coexist on a campus that strives towards excellence in science and mathematics. This STEM-based culture is not shared by many other collegiate student bodies.
While this principle distinguishes our campus, it has a noticeable downside: the university doesn’t particularly allow for creative mediums to flourish. As such, preventing the campus’s artistic flame from being extinguished falls upon us students. One group on campus that has committed themselves to doing just that is NJIT’s very own Filmmaking Club.
We sat down with President Fahim Chowdhury, a third-year communications major, to learn more about NJIT’s Filmmaking Club. Founded by just three members in 2013, the club had a bit of a rocky start. While the club once faced poor attendance rates and suspended budgets, it is now 18 members strong.
With different interests and skill sets, members put their minds together to produce compelling short films. The club works as an elegantly oiled machine: members are involved in writing, storyboarding, and directing all while pursuing their unique passions, which range from camera work to editing.
Any member can suggest an idea for a short film and a club-wide vote is taken to see if they should further pursue the creator’s vision. From there, the creator takes the lead to see his project carried to fruition.
Indeed, the Filmmaking Club has been working on making a name for themselves outside of NJIT. This past summer, a group of members gathered to produce a short film called “Study Room”. Directed by Chowdhury and Rick-Kendy Noziere, a fourth-year civil engineering major, the film pulls from the familiar struggle faced by many college students when trying to find a quiet and productive place to study but being disrupted by others.
As Chowdhury explains, the inspiration for many of their films, including “Study Room”, are often “based on reality and daily struggles, but are stretched for laughs and drama.” In Sep. 2018, “Study Room”was one of three of the club’s short films that were screened during the Newark International Film Festival, which attracted approximately 10,000 film enthusiasts.
“That 2017’s Show”, directed by mechanical engineering senior Jimmie Windbush, and “Narration”, directed by fourth-year computer science major Thomas Schlein, were also screened.
Producing quality film is no easy feat, and it takes a village to do so. In Chowdhury’s own words: “For videomaking, it takes a lot of people to get a little bit of work done”.
The only way Filmmaking Club has been able to gain traction in the emerging Newark film community is through the eighteen driven students who see short films as a medium of expression with a potential for sophisticated storytelling.
Those interested in experiencing the Filmmaking Club’s creativity for themselves can find several of their productions on their YouTube channel. The club meets on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in Kupfrian 110 and invites anyone with a passion for videomaking to join.