Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa

Celebrate 25 Years on the Silver Screen with IFCO Stories Featuring Karsten Melchers

Dear IFCO Supporter,

My name is Karsten Melchers, I am a third year student at the University of Ottawa in the Commerce program with a specialization in Marketing. I chose marketing because of my passion for media creation, a passion that started with filmmaking and was fuelled by the opportunity granted to me by IFCO. It is through the generous programs at IFCO that I was able to experiment and mature as a filmmaker.

I began my experience in filmmaking as many others did; through trial and error with a family digital camera. This is a great way to start and provides a solid foundation of curiosity and wonder, but it has its limitations. Through my school program, I was afforded the opportunity to partner with IFCO. There I would receive training no amount of trial and error could match, and the chance to experiment with a real film camera.

At the IFCO workshop, I learned the ropes of lighting, film editing, and how to use a real film camera. Until then I had worked exclusively on the digital medium, a far more forgiving and easily manipulated format. I must admit that I was fairly anxious about using film at first; however, from the moment I entered IFCO’s office I was welcomed by kind faces. The instructors were patient with us and answered all of our silly questions without reservation. At the end of the seminar, the instructor gave me his card and told me that if I had any concerns while shooting, I could call him and he would help me as much as he could. With the knowledge from the seminar, and the confidence granted by their support, I shot my film “The Traveling Writer,” one of my favorite projects to date.

Since we were attempting in camera editing I only had one take with each shot. This meant I had to be organized, very organized. This level of preparation taught me valuable skills that have continued to serve me, not only in filmmaking, but in every aspect of my life. It also afforded me new confidence, if I could make a movie on film, then I could definitely tackle the other challenges life threw at me.

I will never forget my time with IFCO, nor will I forget the lessons I learned there. I hope to work with them at every opportunity I get, and hope you will have the pleasure of working with them too. It is a welcoming environment that makes everyone who works with them a better person.

Thank you for reading my shaggy dog tale and I hope you consider contributing to this fantastic organization. Every contribution is greatly appreciated, not only by IFCO, but by those who have had the pleasure of working with them.


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