For a few recent graduates, a class project turned into national recognition. “The Elect” and “Picking Up America,” two documentaries created for a documentary production class in 2010, have been official selections and award winners at film festivals across the country this year. Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) faculty member Ted Mandell taught the class for which the films were made. “In the past few years [Notre Dame] has been more successful in terms of getting into national and international film festivals,” Mandell said. Produced by 2011 graduates Erin Zacek and Dan Moore, “The Elect” was selected for the Los Angeles film festival for its behind-the-scenes look at the Scottsboro Baptist Church. “When we went to the LA film festival, out of 5,000 films, to be selected and to stand out from that many quality films was really exciting,” Zacek said. “Picking Up America,” produced by Michael Burke and Marie Wicht of the Class of 2011, tells the story of the environmentalist group Pick Up America, which has been picking up trash across the country since March 2010 to raise awareness about waste and pollution. In addition to being selected for 12 festivals, the film won the Social Change Award at the Ivy Film Festival and Best Nature Film at the Yosemite Film Festival. “It was super rewarding to have someone stand up and say, ‘This is the film that can inspire the most change’… Knowing that it worked and people are responding to it is rewarding,” Wicht said. “We’re college kids … We got in competing against non-student films.” Mandell said Notre Dame’s FTT department offers students unique opportunities that have contributed to such successes. First, Notre Dame offers filmmakers funding and grants to travel, which is key when making films of national scope and interest, Mandell said. Both films’ creators took advantage of the Broad Avenue Filmmakers Award, a grant for FTT students created by a 1986 Notre Dame graduate. “We got funding totaling over $1,000 … That covered all our travel expenses, as well as submission fees for somewhere around 20 film festivals,” Burke said. The relatively small size small of Notre Dame’s film department gives students the benefit of more faculty attention and more access to equipment, Mandell said. “Our documentary class had eight people. To get that kind of one-on-one attention from the professor and feedback from the class … was a luxury,” Zacek said. Because of small classes, film students participate in every aspect of the filmmaking process, including writing, producing, cinematography, directing and editing, Mandell said. “For [“Picking up America,”] it was me and Dan doing the whole thing,” Zacek said. “At a bigger school I’d just have one job, like editing. But for FTT, here we got to do the whole thing just the two of us, and that versatility was great to have.” The Arts and Letters and University requirements that FTT majors must take in addition to their film classes also make more well-rounded students, Mandell said. “Students are more prepared when they get to the real world,” he said. “They are more aware of issues and ways to approach them.” As these documentaries continue their tour of film festivals, the students are enjoying their success, Burke said. “I’m still surprised how welcoming all these festivals are to student filmmakers,” he said. “The fact that a college student — and even a high school student in some festivals — can have an opportunity like that is something I was totally unaware of. “What’s been most surprising is the way you get treated as a filmmaker at festivals.”
Australia-based Byron Energy has started drilling at the Cutthroat prospect located on its operated SM58 lease in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Enterprise 263, formerly known as Hercules 263. Source: Enterprise OffshoreTugboats had been mobilized to meet the Enterprise 263 drilling rig and tow it to an open water location on Byron Energy’s SM58 lease last Thursday.Byron Energy said on Wednesday, August 7 that, as of 1700 Hours US Central Daylight Time (USCDT) on August 6, 2019, the Enterprise 263 jack-up drilling rig had started drilling operations on the SM58 011 well, the company’s first test well on its recently acquired South Marsh Island 58 (SM58) block.At 1700 hours USCDT, the company has drilled to 500′ Measured Depth (MD). Current operations are drilling ahead to 800′ MD prior to running and cementing 16″ conductor pipe.The SM58 011 well will test Byron’s Cutthroat Prospect, targeting the highly productive normally pressured O Sands which account for about half of the 35 million barrels of oil produced on SM58 since production began in 1964.The SM58 011 well will be operated by Byron and will be drilled to a depth of 11,466 feet Measured Depth (MD) (10,418 feet true vertical depth) and is expected to take approximately one month to drill and evaluate from the time the rig is on location.The company will bear 100% of the cost of the SM58 011 well. Byron holds all the operator’s rights, title, and interest in and to the SM58 Lease Block to a depth of 13,639 ft. subsea with 100% Working Interest (WI) and 83.33% Net Revenue Interest (NRI).To date, all identified drilling opportunities on the SM58 lease are above 13,639 feet subsea. Below 13,639 feet subsea, Byron has a 50% WI (41.67% NRI) under a pre-existing exploration agreement. Additionally, Byron owns a non-operated 53% WI (44.165% NRI) in the associated existing producing assets being the SM69 E Platform and SM58 E1 wellbore.Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.