EDITORIAL NOTE: The student writer of the treatment for the film in this article is a St. George News columnist. He is one of a class represented by this story, and it is thus given despite his connection to this news service.
ST. GEORGE – A Dixie State College of Utah documentary filmmaking class project has produced “The Approach,” which will receive a premier showing at the Red Cliff Theaters on May 2, at 7 p.m.
The idea for the film was conceived jointly by its director, Adam Ferraro, and its writer, Dallas Hyland, both students in the class. The two pitched it successfully and received the class’s vote to take their idea to film completion as its semester project.
Although the message of the film is presented through the device of rock climbing, a theme that Hyland acknowledged has been way overdone, the concept contemplated that climbing could be used to tell a more personal story – one that captures the juxtaposition between the choices we all make as we live our lives; “life vs. lifestyle, if you will,” Hyland said, “and how one gives way to the other.”
Of course, the location of the college and its familiar red rock surroundings lent well to the production, made by DSC with a minimal budget. It was filmed on location throughout Southern Utah as well as in the south Sierra Nevada near Bishop, California.
The Approach contains a poignant and transcendent message that everyone can relate to, whatever their sports, recreation and other lifestyle interests may be. It asks the question:
“Some make time to do what they love, others live what they love, which one are you?”
The documentary filmmaking class is one among those taken by DSC students pursuing a degree in mass communications with a digital film production emphasis.
Hyland, who wrote the treatment is pursuing his degree at DSC and aspires ultimately to be a documentary filmmaker, a genre he said is a fantastic medium for evoking thought and change.
“I am first and foremost a husband, father, and friend,” he said. “Then a documentarian.
“My personal and professional aspirations merge in the craft of storytelling. And I accomplish this through the mediums of writing, photography, and filmmaking, all of which require the skill and convictions of an investigative journalist. It really boils down to wanting to be more than just a part of the present time and take part in being part of all time. To be both action oriented and of deep philosophical inclinations and, to get at the truth.”
For Ferraro, the theme was a gimme to embrace.
“I am a climber,” Ferraro said. “A lot of the people in this film are my friends. It seemed like a great project to make a film about something I both know and love.”
Orchestrating the treatment with the direction wasn’t difficult for Ferraro either: “Dallas and I have been friends for a while now,” he said, “and the opportunity to collaborate on this project has been awesome. We make a good team.”
The May 2 release will screen a rough-cut completed by the class. If it is well received, members of the project will press on into the summer and add final touches in preparation for the DOCUTAH Film Festival in September and possibly other film festivals.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.