Published: Mar 9, 2010
As the flowers begin to peek their heads through a blanket of snow, the
city of Prague is also starting to awaken from a long, cold winter.
Capturing this city’s renaissance in a documentary are four UT film
students who headed to the Czech Republic over spring break to help
Assistant Professor Tom Garrett with production.
see a country that has been through so much gray for so long finally
emerge with some colors through its art and culture has been a beautiful
thing,” said Tamara Austin ’12. “And we are seeing it unfold and evolve
before our eyes."
Austin joined Zach Joyner ’11, Fawn Testa ’11
and Dennis Hooten ’11 as production and research assistants for
Garrett, who is the producer of the documentary with the working title The Colors of Prague
see the inspiration this experience has created through the students’
reactions,” Garrett said. “The level of involvement and engagement is
life changing. It creates a passion which is what makes us all do what
Adjunct Instructor Curtis Graham is the director of
photography, and Professor Gary Luter is a production associate, and art
and theatre historian. Lee Morse is the production manager and
The trip was made possible by a grant to the
College of Arts and Letters from Elly Friedman, a lifelong patron of the
arts and mentor to Garrett.
“Ms. Friedman’s grant allowed a
wonderful opportunity for the students involved to learn the dynamic of
creating a documentary from the ground floor,” Garrett said. “A work
flow had been designed for the students to follow that allows them to
get hands-on experience in both theory and practice, from concept to
screen, in a city that is just bursting in art and culture.”
Aside from filming, the students explored Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts
(AMU), a visit made possible by Dean Haig Mardirosian, who is working
to make AMU an addition to UT’s Study Abroad Program. Luter connected
with AMU’s drama program
as UT theatre students will be participating in a program there this summer.
to Prague has been one of the best academic experiences of my life,”
said Joyner. “I immediately fell in love with the city’s energy and
For Testa, a double major in entrepreneurship and film and media arts, the experience has expanded her vision for the future.
has been an unbelievable experience. It is an amazing feeling to
immerse yourself in a culture and be able to capture it all on film,”
Testa said. “And as a student with a double major, I’m able to see
applications for my future academic and professional career.”
said he’s been overwhelmed by the exposure to film studios, dance
performances, gallery openings, recitals and film awards “equivalent to
“This trip to Prague has expanded my world to so
many other opportunities in the arts. In less than a week I’ve gained
more understanding and respect for the international and global artist,”
Hooten said. “It has changed my life for the better.” Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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