Student makes her entrance into film via ‘The Bluffs’

Feb. 16, 2015

Audrey Jensen
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With no experience in theater or acting, senior communication major Lisa Erickson has stage managed a Colorado Springs award-winning production and edited, written, directed and produced for the UCCS digital series, “The Bluffs.”

Erickson started at UCCS as a psychology major. She then changed her major to pre-med but was not enjoying her decision to switch. After participating in a trivia night hosted at Clyde’s, Erickson realized what she is truly passionate about: films.

At the start of 2013 Erickson switched to her current major. She has been able to take courses that allow her class to participate in editing a small portion of a film from a professional director.

Erickson explained that the experience of film making and editing begins in class.

“[It is a challenge] making my films relatable to the audience,” she said. “I love to entertain, I think that can be a little easier than actually capturing the attention of the audience and making them leave the film thinking about it,” she said.

Associate professor David Nelson approached Erickson, a digital media studies emphasis, about “The Bluffs” digital series, telling her about the characters and plot and she decided to get on board.

“I do love directing and producing, those are my biggest passions, currently I am editing episode 1 and 2 [of The Bluffs] and I just got done editing the trailer,” Erickson said.

“The Bluffs,” a tribute to the UCCS 50th anniversary, will premiere on March 14 at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall 203.

Erickson expressed that it takes a lot of creative people to accomplish a digital series. She was able to co-write, digitally edit and direct for different episodes in “The Bluffs.”

“It’s not a singular thing, it begins with someone who has the idea, then the next person takes it, broadens it and makes it grow and gives it to the next production person who takes it and alters it to how it should be seen, then the editor takes it,” Erickson said.

“There is a lot of transformation when you look at and compare the script to the final edit. It is amazing what changes, especially in the vision of writer,” she continued.

Erickson said she has pushed herself to try every opportunity.

“If students are pursuing this degree with this specialty [digital media studies] they should grab every opportunity they can…That’s what I’ve done. It is insane to think I’ve worked on a lot of aspects of the show,” Erickson said.

She also was a first time theater stage manager for First Company’s production in Colorado Springs, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

“I always had a basis for editing and a little for directing, [“Thoroughly Modern Millie”] has pushed me to grow and really come through and see this project all the way through,” Erickson said.

Erickson explained her role as stage manager is to make sure the show starts and ends well.

“Stage managing was my first time entering the theater world. There are relationships between film and theater, but it is its own category, to work in both is nice. I get the experience of how to treat actors and talk to them. In the end it’s all entertainment though,” Erickson said.