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Frog Baby Film Festival: A Q&A with chair head Jordan Shoemaker

by Baylie Clevenger

Here at Ball State, there are many events available for students to enjoy and participate in, but for aspiring filmmakers, Frog Baby Film Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the semester. 

The festival, which will beheld tonight at 8 p.m. in Pruis Hall, is free to enter and features films made by Ball State students. The organization of the festival is led by a committee who decide what films to screen, create promotional material, and plan the event. 

To get some further insight into the event we spoke Jordan Shoemaker, one of Frog Baby's committee heads.

Image from Facebook

Q: You are a Ball State student. Would you mind sharing a bit about your experience at Ball State? Like what were you involved in, what was your major, etc.

A: I am a junior Telecommunications major with a Video Production concentration at Ball State. I also have a Theatre minor. I’ve been a part of quite a few different clubs throughout my time here focused on many different things, but I haven’t been as passionate about them as I am about Frog Baby. In this club, I am able to combine my interests in event planning and film, so it’s pretty perfect for me. 

Q: Have you always been interested in film, or was this a passion that you developed later in life? 

A: I’ve always loved movies and TV as a form of entertainment. My family and I would go to the movie theaters together all the time while I was growing up, so it’s always been a big part of my life. Since coming to college though, I’ve learned to appreciate film as an art form as well. 

Q: How did you become involved with Frog Baby? 

A: I found Frog Baby at the CCIM SuperParty at the beginning of the year. Erin advertised that she would be needing a co-chair for when she graduated and I was always interested in having a leadership role in one of my clubs, so I jumped on the opportunity.

Q: In your own words, would you explain the mission of the film festival?

A: I think that the mission of Frog Baby is to give student filmmakers a chance to see their hard work come to fruition and help prepare them for their future. They make the films and go through the submission process very similarly to how they will once they graduate. They go through the acception and rejection process and if they are accepted, they are able to see their film on the big screen.  

Q: What sets Frob Baby apart from other film festivals? 

A: I think that what sets Frog Baby apart from other Festivals is that it is student-run, but faculty judged. This means that judging is completely fair, but fellow students are celebrating each other and their accomplishments. We all get excited if one of our friends from class makes something great and makes it into the festival and it creates a sense of camaraderie in a very competitive field.  

Q: Do you have a favorite experience from Frog Baby you’re willing to share?

A: Something that I really enjoyed this year was the private screening of the films that we had as a club. Once we knew which films made it into the festival, we got together as a group to go through them, just to figure out logistics like the viewing order or content warnings, but it was a lot of fun being together and seeing everyone’s reactions to films that they or their friends had been apart of. I’m excited to see people’s reactions on the actual day of the festival.  

Q: What is the screening process like for films? How do you determine which films will be in the festival? 

A: Once the submission process is over, the films go over to our Graduate Assistant judges and they watch each film and give it a score. When they are finished, we send the highest scoring films to the Faculty judges who repeat the process. They also make award nominations. After all of the films have been judged and scored, we take the scores and tally them up to figure out which ones will make it into the festival.

Q: How can people become involved?

A: We have a table at the SuperParty at the beginning of each semester and we’re always looking for more people to join us! We have quite a few different teams that make up our club, so not only TCOM majors are interested. We have an Event Team, Promotions Team, and Video Team, so we have a little something for everyone!

You can contact the Frog Baby Committee through the Frog Baby Film Festival website.

Images: Baylie Clevenger, Ball State CCIM Facebook

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