A Film and Media Studies major with a Religious Studies minor, Dirk Dupre has a passion for filmmaking and video production. Previously a double major in religious studies, he was inspired to declare the major after taking classes with Dr. Meckel focusing on Indian religion and modern India (but opted for graduating on time in May over the double major!).
Religious Studies brings another perspective to Dirk’s work with film, and Dr. von Kellenbach’s Religion and Ecology class had a direct influence on his film work. The class inspired an idea for an SMP related to religion, the environment, and surfing by framing environmentalism in a new way. Though Dirk would still like to pursue this idea, he ultimately decided to hold off on the project. “It would take years just to learn enough about surfing for the project,” Dirk says.
While he considered film schools, Dirk decided a liberal arts school would provide a broader education, along with the analytical and philosophical perspectives of classes in the humanities. SMCM happened to make the best offer, and the rest is history. Even though SMCM was chosen based on practical considerations, Dirk has enjoyed getting to know the people here and the beautiful campus. By necessity, he has learned to find things out for himself and seek film production opportunities beyond campus, experiences that challenged him to take initiative. Along with Media Center colleague Kevin Glotfelty, Dirk made a short film to practice filmmaking techniques and experience more of the technical elements of film production.
Dirk has worked with the Media Center for nearly 2 years, beginning during his sophomore year. After spending a lot of his time in the Media Center working on film projects, Justin Foreman mentioned an opportunity to work on a PFP project that Dirk was eager to participate in. Working with a team, Dirk has been producing, editing, and filming one minute videos to highlight the different majors at SMCM. He also helps students working with Photoshop or video production in the LAMC’s 3rd floor.
What has kept Dirk at the Media Center for so long? The staff has been supportive and invaluable in terms of providing creative feedback and professional advice. Justin has worked as both a supervisor and mentor, sharing practical advice about putting together demo reels, and giving student employees a sneak peek at his current projects.
When not behind the camera, Dirk is often at the mic hosting a radio show with Kevin or climbing the rec center’s rock wall. In addition to resetting the college’s climbing wall every semester, Dirk helps with rock climbing competitions held in the fall and spring semesters.
After graduation, Dirk plans to relax and enjoy bicycling along the C&O Canal starting from the Washington, DC area. He would like to continue working in DC with the film production company where he completed his internship. Ultimately, Dirk has his sights set on a city with a bigger film scene, like New York, Los Angeles, or Atlanta. He’d later like to find his own crew and make documentaries.
Can Dirk be a true film major without recommending a film or two? Of course not! He suggests the documentary Free Solo, which follows the journey of a free soloer* attempting the first such climb of El Capitan in Yosemite. Dirk is also a fan of the highly stylized 1990s teen film Trust directed by Hal Hartley.
We’re sad Dirk is leaving the LAMC team soon, but we can’t wait to watch his documentaries!
*Free soloing: rock climbing by yourself without a harness