The Men and Women of Collegiate Film, Reborn
'The Men and Women of Collegiate Film' was the first website I created. It was part of a lab assignment from my B80 rotation sophomore year at Northwestern University. MWCF was originally intended to be a sort of parody of soft-core porn sites where film equipment, not scantily-clad females, was to be fetishized.
As the project progressed I became more interested in the photographs themselves, rather than the concept. Thus, MWCF is just that, a focus on a handful of the hottest and most well-known rising stars of the film department (at least in my opinion in the spring of 2001). At the time I knew few of these people well enough to ask them to pose provocatively clutching a Bolex or straddling a distro box. I asked anyway and to my surprise nearly everyone immediately agreed to participate.
Due to the rigorous scheduling of B80 labs, I had a very short time in which to prepare for the shoot. I had the film studio at Louis for one day. I enlisted the lighting expertise of Kolter Campbell (who refused to be photographed...something about cameras stealing his soul?) and the photographic talents of my future roommate, Kate Nodulman (who graciously posed with a color chart and little else). I wanted the photos to look similar to the 'glamourous' photos from old-school porn. Kolter rigged some appropriate lighting and Kate slapped on the softest most diffuse filter she could find and we were in business.
Each model was allowed to pick which piece of film equipment they wanted to fondle, cradle or otherwise lovingly stroke. I also asked everyone to fill out a questionnaire, inspired by the Playboy centerfold profiles.
The website debuted in my B80 lab and quickly was passed around the department. Seniors and grad students, to me the untouchables as it were, knew of the site. I received emails from students who wanted to participate in a second shoot if one were to be planned. I wanted to do this during my senior year but unfortunately never got organized enough to do it. I have friends who saw the site and liked it, but never realized my involvement until they mentioned it in passing years later.
Here I reoffer MWCF - embarrassing code, image compression, frames and all - as a yearbook of sorts. Many of the models have gone on to have successful careers, even achieving the Holy Grail of film jobs for the recent grad: non-PA on-set work - a real crew position on a real Hollywood show. Perhaps I will eventually post updates - a MWCF Where Are They Now? For now, revisit your film school days and enjoy!
August 3, 2004