Building A Legend

An animated Gen. Sam Houston statue comes to life to tell the store of his creation by artist David Adickes to a little boy named Kyle. The video "Building A Legend" can be seen on the Visit Huntsville Youtube channel.

The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University is full of talented students who bring creativity and inspiration to SHSU through beautiful artwork, dances and film.

To spotlight some of these budding animators and filmmakers, the Department of Art and the Department of Mass Communication will be hosting the SHSU Student Showcase this Friday at 5:30 p.m. inside the Old Town Theatre.

“The College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication encourages collaborations within our five departments. Community engagement is also an important focus, which is why a public event at Old Town Theatre, in the heart of our town square, seems like a natural fit and also a great way to share the talented work of our students,” said Emily Binnetti, marketing coordinator for COFAMC.

The event is free and open to the community and will feature six short films made by student directors in SHSU's film program. It will also spotlight 14 animated short films created by art students in the computer animation program, consisting of four class compilations and nine individual films.

“People can expect to see a variety of great and inspired films and meet many of the filmmakers and faculty from the SHSU art department's computer animation program and department of mass communication’s film program,” said Tom Garrett, associate professor in the department of mass communication and film program coordinator. 

“Many of the actors and crew will be in attendance as it ‘takes a village’ to make a film. I hope many from the community attend as students need their support and are proud to be making films here in Huntsville.”

One of the animated films being featured includes the award-winning “Building the Legend” by Connally Baskett, Paige Beique, Dawson Garza, Andrea Manzano, Christian Pratt, Paige Reans, Lindsey Whitfield and Willie Williams, assistant professor. The 5-minute short film tells the story of the construction of the Sam Houston statute, which was recently awarded first place at the Idea Fair held at the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus Annual Conference in the $350,000 to $900,000 budget category.

Another featured animated film includes Baskett’s experimental animation “Lost” which was selected to be screened at “We Have Never Been Modern: An International Experimental Film and Video Exhibition” in December of 2014 at the Dope Chapel in Norman, Oklahoma.

“The animations in the showcase represent a range approaches to animation including narrative and non-narrative animation, character animation, and experimental animation,” said Edward Morin, associate professor in the department of art and computer animation program coordinator. “This event will provide students an opportunity to share their creative vision and talent with the Huntsville community. Though students are creating these films as class projects, public screenings are a reminder that they are producing films to connect to an audience.”

The showcase is the first of many events COFAMC has planned to showcase its many creative and visionary students. On March 25, the college will be hosting another student showcase to spotlight more of the creative work produced by students in both the animation and film programs.

The college will also be hosting a variety of film events and performances at the Old Town Theatre, which are also free and open to the public. Next month, they will host a screening of the 1920s classic vampire film “Nosferatu,” which will feature a live music soundtrack, and a screening of the “Best of Texas Short Films.” In November, they will be hosting a screening the 1980s foreign film “A Better Tomorrow.”

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