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Meet The Makers

Long Distance

By: Alexis Hernandez and Sydney Gordon
A film showing how two students express their experiences being in a long distance relationship with their significant other as a first year college student during a global pandemic.
Production Team Bios
Sydney Gordon - Co-Director and Editor
From -  Rochester, New York
Major -  Dual Majoring in Filmmaking and Business
Alexis Hernandez - Co-Director, Producer, and Editor
From -  Queens, New York
Major -  Computer Science
Sydney and Alexis embarked on their own films about their long distance college relationships. They did not discuss their pieces until the final products were done because they did not want to interfere with each others’ creative process. Once both shorts were completed, they combined them in a “chapters” format to show both the overarching theme of long distance relationships between college students and the specificities of their own personal experiences. The result is a film that allows the viewer to see how different people can experience living through similar circumstances. It is meant to be formatted as a film where if others going through a similar situation wanted to add on, they would be able to.

The Docu-meme-tary

By: Andrew Mendoca, Matthew Chapman, Rebeca Vargas, and Samantha Davis
A lighthearted documentary chronicling the evolution of memes throughout 2020 and an informal study of how memes made people feel better in the midst of a year full of hardship worldwide.
Production Team Bios
Andrew Mendoca - Moral Support :)
From -  Everett, Massachusetts
Major -  Aerospace Engineering
Matthew Chapman - Cameraman and Interviewer
From - Orange County, New York
Major - Aerospace Engineering
Rebeca Vargas - Interviewer and Camerawoman
From - Paterson, New Jersey
Major - Computer Systems Engineering
Samantha Davis - Editor
From - North Bergen, New Jersey
Major - Computer Science
Interviews with students were filmed on campus with students by Rebeca and Matthew.  This filming mostly took place inside and around the Union.  Rooms in the Union were also used for filming other scenes for the documentary.  The filming was done by either a handheld phone or by propping up a phone to look at a fixed location.  Our group members met up multiple times, online and in-person, to research and collect memes in a slideshow. Memes regarding the events of 2020 will be shown to the audience along with voiced narration. All clips were compiled in a group google drive folder and edited by Samantha. Narration was provided by Matthew, Samantha, and Rebeca.

Time Difference

By: Yuanyi Zhang, Yijia Zhou, Tom Dai
A general description of what students, in the US and China, do at the absolute same time.
Production Team Bios
Yuanyi Zhang - Editor and Cameraman
From -  Beijing, China
Major - Math and planning a CS Dual major in the future 
Yijia Zhou - Main Editor
From - Jiangsu, China
Major - Environmental Engineering
Tom Dai - Material Collector
From - Jiangsu, China
Major - Physics and planning a Math Dual major in the future
Firstly, we want to make a video about what people do differently in China and the US. After discussion, our group modified the topic, recording what students, in the US and China, do at the absolute same time. It is the current topic. However, how to reflect the time difference is a major problem during production. The final decision is to separate the screen into two parts. One part shows the US time; the other shows Chinese time. For us, it is very challenging because the image will be very disorganized and messy if we don't handle it well. But we still decide to take the challenge. In order to complete this challenging topic, we made a time schedule for the working process and we prepared to meet once a week to talk about the idea and suggestion during the working process. Then we worked for about several weeks after that, doing our own assigned tasks. During the final two weeks, we discussed again according to our current individual work and material. We decided to create the timeline on the documentary to show the time difference and connect the video material that we shot. Also, since we were speaking our native language in the original video, we allocated time slots and captioned the videos. After doing this, the first draft finished. But we found some places in the video that were too loose. So we added some outdoors and daily routine of life in both America and China. Actually, the final video isn’t clear, but all of us try our best to embellish our film.

Unexpected Links

By: Hannah Tischler, Huy Chu, and Dalond Bidonne
A documentary about connecting students at RPI through a social experiment that shows both the audience and the participants the value of human connection.
Production Team Bios
Huy Chu - Cameraman, Audio Engineer and Editor
From -  Hanoi, Vietnam
Major - Aerospace Engineering
Dalond Bidonne -  Cameraman, Audio Engineer, and Website Owner and Developer
From -  Bridgeport, Connecticut
Major - Computer Science and planning a dual with Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences
Hannah Tischler - Director and Website Developer
From -  Stamford, Connecticut
Major - Electronic Arts and planning a dual with Electrical Engineering
The process of creating this film can be divided into three basic sections: pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production involved brainstorming questions for the interviews, storyboarding B-roll, reaching out to potential participants, and scheduling when participants would be interviewed. In order to find participants, we reached out to friends and acquaintances to ask them if they’d be interested in participating in our project. If they agreed to participate, we sent them a survey asking them when they’d be available. After getting the survey replies, we scheduled everyone and made sure the individuals paired together didn’t know each other. In the production phase, we recorded all the interviews and B-roll. On the main recording day, we recorded 6 interviews and it took us about seven hours to set everything up, record the interviews, and take everything down. The B-roll was shot on several different dates. Finally, in post-production, we edited all the material, recorded voice-overs, and set up the website for our class.

Different Perspectives

By: Haley Nelson, Jason Zheng, Lauren Mainhardt, Tai'lyn Green,
and Michael Fallon
The relationship between the students and staff on campus during the pandemic.
Production Team Bios
Tai'lyn Green - Camerawoman and Editor
From -  Denver, Colorado
Major - Aerospace Engineering
Haley Nelson - Interviewer and Scriptwriter
From -  West Springfield, Colorado
Major - Aerospace Engineering
Jason Zheng - Cameraman
From -  Queens, New York
Major - Computer Systems Engineering
Lauren Mainhardt - Camerawoman and Editor
From -  Long Island, New York
Major - Computer Science
Michael Fallon - Cameraman and Main Editor
From -  Syracuse, New York
Major - Biochemistry and Biophysics
We wanted to portray the relationship between the students and staff on campus and highlight the mental health of each group. We originally wanted to include the cooking staff and some of the individuals on the covid testing site, though this did not happen. Though with the time constraint we had to cut out some of our ideas, we were able to create interviews with some of the cleaning staff on campus. Here is where we wanted to know the impact the pandemic had on the people around us, which some people took for granted. The goal was to help the students on campus understand the struggles of the cleaning staff, who was a big reason we were allowed to stay on campus. After finishing the interviews, Michael compiled the clips of the interview. For the introduction and ending of the film we decided to use vlog style footage to best capture what it was like on campus for the students, and put narration over it. Everyone contributed to the whole idea process and helping to execute our ideas to create the final product shown here.

Anxious Mind

By: Sydney Gordon
A film chronicling the emotional, physical, and mental experiences of a first year college student living through the unprecedented times of 2020.
Production Team Bios
Sydney Gordon - I am the sole creator of this film and took on all roles from beginning to end.
From - Rochester New York
Major - Dual Majoring in Filmmaking and Business
I spent time documenting the events of both my personal life and the world events that have caused me to experience heightened anxiety. Putting these together in a semi-chronological experimental film, I wanted to give the viewer a taste of what someone living with an anxiety disorder feels. I created a film that allows a look into how life is experienced and seen with anxiety. A collection of media, personal interviews, and clips of my life resulted in this sensory stimulating final product.
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