Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Professor Tula Goenka, Executive Producer
Jason Kohlbrenner, Production Supervisor
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Film and Media Studies
This film helped me to fulfill something academically, and allowed me to do something challenging and out of my comfort zone. Academically, I wanted to have the effect of a “jointed perception” experience. I wanted to explore the basic idea of what Synesthesia is, or how I interpret it. Synesthesia is a psychological phenomenon that means jointed perception of the senses. So when one takes something in by sight, sound, feel, taste, touch, one actually experiences it in another sense. I thought everyone could relate to this phenomenon in some form, even if not clinically diagnosed. When I learned about it, it fascinated me. I wanted to communicate that when Allie, the main character, hears, she sees; it triggers her memories. Then, since the viewer sees the film, I had hoped it would allow him or her to feel something emotionally. I believe this is a true goal of a film for a filmmaker, to establish this form of “jointed perception.” This film was also challenging and out of my comfort zone because it was personal, and it was told through so much imagery with music.
The story of the short film, Vicariously, is heartfelt; it is about the relationship between a single father and his daughter. The basic premise is that the daughter is leaving to start her life, and the father has to let go, and accept he did right by her, raising her, and that she will be successful. It is left ambiguous where she is going exactly, but the viewer knows she is on a journey without him, and has grown up. I left it ambiguous on purpose, as it is not important for the message. In film school, one of the earliest things one learns is how to make the general, specific, and the specific, general, in a way that the theme or message resonates with the audience. The connection with a specific character can show an experience that may be felt by many people throughout life. This story, and its message, is also timely for the audience it is being screened to, and timely in my life. It was cathartic to make, as I graduate and start my next chapter, and have to let go of what is safe and try to strive for my dreams. It also made me reflect on the relationship I have with my own father, and how he has helped shape me into the person I am today.
The story puts this young woman, Allie, leaving on a train. As she travels, she listens to her iPod. The song envelops the scene, no longer making the viewer a passenger with her, but putting the viewer inside her head, as she goes back into memories. These memories are triggered by the words and message of the song.
In order to accomplish my capstone film, I wore many hats. I not only came up with the concept-which evolved-I was the writer, producer, director, and editor. I also did many, other, smaller, on-set jobs. I had a large crew to facilitate on-set production as well. It was about twenty people, including the cast. My capstone would not have been executed without the help of Professor Tula Goenka, who acted as an advisor and executive producer through the TRF 469 Advanced Filmmaking course.
Karlik, Kaylee, "“Vicariously” - Short Film" (2013). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 3.
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