There are my photos, on the big screen!

There I was, sitting in a small auditorium on the RPI campus.  There were maybe about a hundred other people in the room.  And up on the screen… for just a second or two… was my print Low Tide at Sunrise.


Low Tide at Sunrise
Low Tide at Sunrise. Nikon D700 camera, Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

About a month or two ago, I received word that an RPI student needed some artwork for a short film she was making as part of her film class.  Well, considering that one of my cars appeared in a motion picture years ago, I figured I could help this student out by lending her some of my framed pieces.

After some e-mail correspondence back and forth, we agreed to meet up at the RPI student union.  The day before, I had picked up my framed artworks from the Thacher Park art show, so two of them – Low Tide at Sunrise and The Agfa Bridge over Ansco Lake – were still in my car.  So it was no trouble for me to lend her the pictures.  She returned them a few days later, thanking me for lending them.

A few days ago, I received word that her film – along with several other films – would receive their debut at RPI’s Moon~Dance Film Festival of Student Film.  Wow.  Now all I have to do is find RPI’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, where the film festival would take place.

Oh yeah.  I’ve probably driven THROUGH RPI’s campus a zillion times, but I couldn’t identify one building from the next.  Probably the last time I spent any meaningful amount of time on the campus grounds, it was twenty years ago when the Capital District Islanders played home games at the Fieldhouse.

No matter.  After Googling the building’s address, I drove up to the campus and found some on-street parking in front of the EMPAC building.  Wow, look at this on-street parking.  The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies can’t be too far away, maybe a few steps here or there…

At this point in time, every RPI student is probably laughing like crazy.  Great parking spot, Chuck.  Hope you ate your Wheaties today, the building’s at the top of a very large hill.  Great parking spot, indeed.  Did you bring a sherpa with you?

Yeah, I hiked up that big fat hill, and it was only after I reached the summit – and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies building – that I realized there was available visitor parking near the facility.  Oh well.  I made it to the facility in plenty of time, found a good seat, and got ready for a triple-double feature.  Six short films by six RPI students.

And the film with my artworks – The Party, by Emily Kosmaczewski – was the opening movie.  The film, about an art student who lost – and later found – her inspiration, featured some good acting and a solid script.  And then, at the film’s coda, the main character appears with her work at an art show – with her work and mine prominently displayed.  Nice.

That was the first film in the festival.  I also enjoyed the other five motion pictures, including Carpool – a film featuring four friends as they discuss their lives and ambitions, all while driving to and from work; Heroe, a funny film about the most unlikely superhero of all time; and The Baby Monitor, a psychological thriller with a twist ending that arguably was the best film of the show.

After the films were shown and the filmmakers were asked some questions about their work, I congratulated Emily on The Party.  It really was a good film, and it shows what the RPI film community and professor Nao Bustamante can achieve.  Hopefully we’ll see these students’ future projects on bigger screens in the future.

Now it’s time to get back to my car and go home.

Yep.  DOWN the hill is just as tricky as UP the hill.

But at least I still snagged a good parking space.  And in Troy, that’s not easy to achieve.