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"Endings" Embodies Challenges, Excitement in Creating Independent Films

July 5, 2010


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When audiences view "Endings" at festivals this summer, many won't know how much work went into creating a film on limited resources. While the stereotype of the independent filmmaker creatively trying to stretch dollars is a common image, Chris Hansen's story is a little more unique.

As the chair of the Film and Digital Media Department at Baylor, he relied on the talents of students to work on nearly every aspect of the film. They took a summer school class with the classroom being wherever they were needed to expedite the creation of the movie. In addition to the students, Hansen relied on a few professionals he knew. And as for the integration of his family, one of the main characters in the movie was played by his then-nine-year-old daughter Emma. Many might shy away from putting their projects in the hands of twenty-year olds, but Hansen has found it to be a formula that works.

It was a summer camp that took place two summers ago, when Hansen, and his students sweated under the hot Texas sun while shooting at various locations around Waco. In those summer weeks, they shot a movie that is just now being viewed by outside eyes. In the intervening twenty-four months, a lot of those students graduated, Chris Hansen taught four semesters and summer school, went through a succesful tenure process, and continued to juggle all the incumbent responsibilities related to a full-time job. In the midst of all that, "Endings" had to begin to take shape. Task number one was getting the images exactly as he wanted them.

Getting to lock picture took longer than anticipated. They had to get there before they could really begin with sound, and that before they could start thinking about sending the movie out.

But as the calendar turned, the post-production process finally began winding down. And basically no one had yet seen the film. We'll continue our conversation with Chris Hansen tomorrow and look at the question, "So you've made a movie-now what?" You can learn more about the movie and hear our entire conversation with Hansen online at kwbu.org and this Sunday at 3 on KWBU Rewind. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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