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Cleveland State Film Students Committed to Excellence PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Smith   

I had the pleasure of acting in the movie 'Excellence Within Reach' last weekend. Cleveland State University film majors shot it at CSU's Natatorium and a student's apartment. Directed by Pieter Ritz, a senior from Florida here on a swimming scholarship, the crew did a great job putting it all together. Sometimes I'm hesitant to audition for projects whose subject matter doesn't interest me or I'm hesitant to spend a lot of time with people that don't have a lot of experience. I was pleasantly surprised by this experience, glad I gave it a shot, and grateful to have been given the opportunity.

The movie, which called for a swim team coach, caught my eye since I was a springboard diver on my high school swim team. Having performed in a number of stage plays recently, this was a good change of pace and allowed me to compare stage and film acting. Pieter did a great job of writing, planning and moving the shoot along throughout Saturday and Sunday filming. He was also very generous in that he encouraged the actors and crew to collaborate, receiving line changes or additions and others' ideas with enthusiasm. I thought this was great as an actor. A play's lines are pretty much set in stone, whereas in this project I could modify the dialog depending on what I felt the character would say.

Each crewmember concentrated on their respective tasks, yet there were plenty of laughs along the way. They explained to me how each senior majoring in Film must perform all the major jobs a movie requires. Each must direct their own movie, as well as do audio, lighting, and camera-work on classmates' films. Kudos to CSU for devloping such a fine Film and Digital Media program.

I was impressed with the program and the students, as well as the facilties at CSU. I never knew they had such a huge, impressive Natatorium. There was a polo tournament and a girls' volleyball tournament on the other side of the building on Saturday, so the place was jumpin'. Parking was free and closeby. As I drove home - thinking of the people I "worked" with, of CSU, wondering how the final product will turn out - I says to myself, "That was a pretty good way to spend a weekend."