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Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies Justin Francis (center, kneeling behind camera) with members of the FILM309 course while filming a music video on campus in October. Photo courtesy of Associate Professor of Computer Science Madalene Spezialetti

More than 50 people gathered in Vernon Social on the evening of December 10 to watch music videos created by members of a Trinity College film production course.

The FILM309 students worked with music video director and Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies Justin Francis, who has directed videos for artists including Pharrell, Eminem, Carly Rae Jepson, Demi Lovato, and The Roots. Francis, who works primarily in Los Angeles, would Skype in to the class every Tuesday evening during the Fall 2015 semester. Associate Professor of Computer Science Madalene Spezialetti said, “Professor Francis illustrated the music video pitch process by screening a number of well-known videos for the class and showing the treatments and storyboards behind each pitch. He also shared the treatments and visual references from projects he directed and taught the class his own approach for generating ideas and communicating them to artists and record labels. Sharing his expertise enabled the students to understand the entire production process and use that knowledge when developing their own music videos.”

Francis came to the Trinity campus in October to lead a hands-on workshop. Students in the course got the opportunity to work with Francis and Spezialetti on creating their own music videos, and also participated in the production of a music video filmed by Francis on campus. “Watching his production process firsthand and having him coach them through the process of making their own music videos provided the students with a truly unique learning experience,” said Spezialetti. The filming was supplemented by written assignments.

​Anthony Flores ’16 said of his experience working with Francis, “Justin’s insight into the production of music videos helped me expand my idea of what a video could be. The class in general furthered my understanding of what it would be like to actually work in the field. It was one of the best classes I’ve taken at Trinity.”

The semester-capping Music Video Festival showcased a wide variety of approaches to film, featuring different types of shots set to various kinds of music. Maggie Millian ’18 said, “Making a music video with Justin Francis provided us with valuable experience and techniques that we used to make our own.”

Click here to see the music video made by class member Julia Conforti ’16 featuring a cover of Delta Rae’s “Bottom of the River” performed by the Trinity College Quirks, one of the five a cappella groups on campus. The soloist is Noni Ghani ’16.

To learn more about Trinity College’s Interdisciplinary Program in Film Studies, contact or click here.

Written by Eleanor Worsley ’17