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Matthew Potwardowski

Matthew Potwardowski

BFA Film & Television, Creative Writing Minor

The “arc” of my semester:

At the beginning of FTV 315, Professor Mulcahy divided us into partnerships, each expected to create original work to co-direct, co-edit, co-produce, or combine in some unique way. My partner and I, Mackenzie Giguere, had already contacted Mulcahy over Winter Break to get a jump start on our fiction short, That Wonderful Someone. Our film was to be a 1960s period piece about a dejected housewife—Mrs. Hayes—whose affair with a younger man sheds light onto her middle age, unhappiness, and search for meaning.

Then Coronavirus happened.

Just one day before we were to shoot (having booked an Airbnb, gotten all the PD, picked out a camera, crew, food, etc.), all student productions were shut down and plans were canned. We were disillusioned and distraught. In many ways, we still are. When a minor solution to our frustrations arose (to make of a microfilm), I quickly tackled this idea, having mingled in misery far too long, wishing to just do something, anything to get my mind off of the Coronavirus. I chose to do a horror film because one, I’d never done one before and now felt like an appropriate time, and two, because it was the only thing I could think to do inside my home under limited circumstances. I attempted one, but it failed hilariously, so I came up with another idea.

The result is Possessions – a micro horror film about a burglar who makes the discovery of a lifetime. While the film is far from perfect, it represents the best of what I could do with what I had: a one-man crew, no equipment, no lights, no fancy-schmancy RED camera, no SAG actors, nothing. The process of filmmaking overrules the product for me, so it was paramount to grow this semester no matter what. I feel, at the very least, that spending several weeks crafting a two-minute short helped to minimize the misery brought on by the Coronavirus and allowed me to create something out of nothing, regardless of the result.