Exploring the art of film

The power of film is so much more than sitting in a theater for a few hours, then getting up and driving home. With the power to change, to evoke emotion, to cause fear, to make you laugh and cry — film can do much more than the average moviegoer realizes.

For the Norse Film Society’s Co-president Austin Brown, the movie experience is more than just a simple undertaking. It was at a young age that Brown figured out what film was all about. He began to notice the comedy aspect of film, such as in movies with Jim Carrey, when he was 8. But then something happened: Brown saw The Truman Show and discovered a deeper aspect of film he hadn’t yet recognized.

“It was my first recognition of film as something more than Disney and Ace Ventura,” Brown said.

Brown sees more than just the cheap thrills that most Hollywood films incorporate into their modern productions. To him, a lot of films don’t get the attention they should, because other high-budget reels steal most of the attention.

“Of course, I do wish other films would receive more mainstream recognition. Some of my favorite films of the year, A Serious Man and Bright Star,’ were in very limited release. And they certainly deserve more recognition than Transformers or G.I. Joe,” Brown said.

It took a few more years for Brown to really find the art of film. It took legendary director Alfred Hitchcock to give him the final push into film. After watching Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, Brown was hooked on the art — at 14 years old.

But this isn’t all just about Brown, but more about what he helped create — the Norse Film Society.

He started the film society with two friends, Austin Dressman and Stephanie Mathena. Each shared his passion for film and filmmaking, and they wanted to bring that to Northern Kentucky University’s campus.

So, what is their mission? They wanted a group on campus that viewed, discussed and produced films.

Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, they dove right in and started their own club. With the NFS being the first real film group at NKU, Brown, Dressman and Mathena are breaking new ground.

Mathena, co-president of NFS, came across the art of film at a young age as well —around the same age Brown did.

“I first became interested in filmmaking after stumbling across a strange independent film called L.I.E. when I was in eighth grade,” Mathena said. “It was different than anything I’d ever seen before. It broke most of the conventions of Hollywood filmmaking with a low-budget, a more-than-strange topic and a disturbing but intriguing direction.”

She too has a passion for film making. She started her film career at Conner High school and now is taking another step with the NFS.

“We want to learn from each other and be able to have a community of filmmakers to count on throughout our careers,” Mathena said.

The society affords them that networking opportunity, but it also allows them to watch all kinds of films, too. From Hitchcock to documentaries, they watch it all, and they discuss each film or series of films. Additionally, the group makes their own films. Currently they are working on a documentary on the National Equality March that took place in Washington D. C. in October. They’re also finishing the filming of a mockumentary musical.

The membership to the society varies from event to event. They have thirty members that come to the different promotions and screenings that the NFS holds, and while these numbers continue to grow, there are only fifteen who attend the regular meetings.

The film society meets at 3 p.m. every Thursday in the Student Union in room 105. And if interested in the films the society is making, the trailer to their mockumentary musical can be found at http://www.norsefilmsociety.com.

Perks to becoming a member of NFS include free screenings to movies and other promotional merchandise. So, if you’re truly interested in film or how to create them, then the Norse Film Society is for you.

Story by Brandon Barb