The Department of Telecommunication and Film is giving one student the opportunity to write, produce and direct his or her own original script with an Emmy award-winning television director— they just have to impress him first.
Tom Cherones, a UA graduate and Tuscaloosa native, is a television director best known for directing more than 80 episodes of “Seinfeld.” He has also directed episodes of many other shows, including Ellen, NewsRadio and Desperate Housewives.
The TCF department is accepting student submissions of a short drama or comedy script approximately 30 minutes in length. After the Dec. 7 deadline, Cherones will select the winning script to be used in Capstone Video Project 2013, a production class for TCF students.
“All submitted scripts will be sent to him over Christmas break, and he chooses the one he wants to produce,” said Glenda Cantrell-Williams, the chair of the TCF department. “He judges the scripts himself and sometimes brings in industry people or gets advice from cohorts.”
The winner of the competition will assist Cherones in editing, shooting and producing his or her original work. The production will take place on site in Tuscaloosa during the spring semester.
Cherones will visit the University in April to instruct students in the class alongside Tom Assari, the production designer for Seinfeld.
“They will learn what it’s like to work on a professional-type set from people who have achieved great success,” Cantrell-Williams said.
The Capstone class, TCF 442, will take place over the course of four weeks in April. Applicants are restricted to production students who have taken TCF 100, at least two production classes and have a 2.0 GPA or higher.
The deadline to apply for the class has been extended to this Friday, Nov. 16.
“Anyone can apply to be accepted. They need experience filming, editing and [to] be able to shoot,” said Mary Lou Cox, TCF administrative assistant.
Cherones will work with the students on mastering the basics of film production.
“The students may come in knowing how to shoot a camera, but Mr. Cherones will help them to make the shot better,” Cantrell-Williams said. “He really works with the students on pacing. When you work in such a short time frame, it really pushes their limits.”
During the four weeks, students will finish an entire production from start to finish.
“At the end, there will be a wrap party, and there may be some polishing that’s done, but it’s a finished product,” Cantrell-Williams said.
The finished production will be used beyond the classroom and submitted to various film festivals, Cox said. Although the spring class is for TCF students only, any student can submit a script to the competition and audition to play a role in the final production.
“The class is restricted to production students,” Cantrell-Williams said. “But anyone can audition to play a part in the film to be an extra… to be a star.”