By Julia Lodder and Tyler Bulthuis

Film production, including scriptwriting, videography, editing, producing, directing, acting, and sound engineering, has always played an integral part as an extracurricular activity for students at Providence. As agents of reconciliation in this fallen world, filmmaking is one way in which students engage culture. This past January, a group of Providence students participated in Dordt College’s Prairie Grass Film Challenge. In this challenge, students have 48 hours to come up with an original script, shoot, direct, compose a score, produce, and edit the film.  Short films from Providence students have won first place in the film challenge consecutively in 2012 and 2013.

Film Challenge

Team Providence Productions hard at work during the 48 hour challenge

Providence’s production team, made up of a producer, directors, scriptwriters, videographers, a musician, and actors met together as soon as the criteria was released. This year’s film criteria included: characters named “Jackie Jeets” and “Alex Atwood” and the line “what happened when it was switched on?” Providence student Julia Lodder reflected on the experience and had this to say “As the team Providence Productions, we are very proud of the work of art we have created in The Camera Man. True beauty is a reflection of our Creator, and in our film we sought to portray this beauty while portraying the brokenness of our current world. We also sought to portray redemption – even though we are sinful humans, God has an ultimate promise for our salvation – and we get glimpses of that in this life. In all of this, our goal was to glorify God, and we are thankful we could work together


Cast Members April Otto and Elgin Ball during filming

to accomplish that goal.” Since this challenge, a few students, spearheaded by sophomores Tyler Bulthuis and Julia Lodder, have officially begun a new club at Providence named Providence Productions: Short-Film Production. Each club that is started at Providence has a mission statement which clearly lays out the purpose and activity of the club:


 The purpose of Providence Productions is to nurture, foster, encourage, create, and otherwise support the film program at Providence. Our college is located near LA, a city in which we have the incredible opportunity to interact with film production and culture. There are a large number of students at Providence who are excited about acting, filming, directing, producing, scriptwriting, and the like – students who have one ultimate goal: to glorify God in making art. This club will be convening regularly to watch instructional videos, meet with industry professionals, and use this knowledge to make hands-on short films with the specific new skills we are learning. Some of these skills will include editing, mise en scene, camera angles, lighting, on-set found, foley sound, special effects, scriptwriting, acting, and so much more. Students will not only be interacting with each other, but in the greater LA community. We will have the opportunity to interact with other creative people, especially those in the film industry, and learn about their worldview and faith as a Christian in a secular world. We will be seeking to produce some short films addressing or involving the problems that plague our culture in Pasadena and Los Angeles, for example homelessness and poor education. We will in the short-film process endeavor to learn how to work and produce in a distinctly Christian way. We believe that this relates to our Christian liberal arts education as a whole – we are being prepared to share Christ’s love in whatever industry to which they venture. The palette of the film industry is one with which it is unusually easy to examine and demonstrate faithful ethics and relationships because of the tangible result.

Many members of Providence Productions will be participating in the upcoming Providence film festival in March as well as an Avodah which features a trip to Dreamworks Studios in L.A. and a pre-trip discussion by Matthew Beans, a Christian writer who has recently worked on the animated Netflix series “The Croods” at Dreamworks.

Watch The Camera Man

Attend the Campus Visit Day on March 11 and you can also attend the Piet Hein Awards film festival that night! It’s the academy awards of Providence where you get to walk the orange carpet. Sign up here