One, two, three – action!

Filmmaker Aly Hardt describes how UC’s Digital Media Collaborative has enhanced her career

Digital Media Collaborative graduate and filmmaker Aly Hardt.

Digital Media Collaborative graduate and filmmaker Aly Hardt.

Aly Hardt did not start her film studies at the University of Cincinnati's College of Arts & Sciences (A&S), but she finished it there in fall of 2019.

After completing her associate degree in Electronic Media at UC Blue Ash, Hardt joined the Digital Media Collaborative. Having acquired a strong technical and professional background in the rigorous program, Hardt wanted to further explore what UC could teach her about film.

After entering the Digital Media Collaborative, she was given the opportunity to “home in on storytelling and create some film projects that I had been wanting to bring to life for some time,” she said.

Hardt is currently working on her first feature film, “ride or die,” which focuses on two best friends whose close relationship is put to the test when lies, secrets and murder are brought to light. Her film, which has occupied her for nearly three years, is now in post-production and should be ready to screen by the end of 2020.

She is already laying plans for her second film, a psychological thriller with the working title “The Orderly” that will soon enter pre-production. Additionally, she’s collaborating with UC Blue Ash E-Media professor Matt Bennett to secure the rights to film one of Stephen King’s short stories.

Looking back on her time at UC, Hardt is happy with the path she took, which allowed her to graduate with the skills and dedication necessary to complete an independent feature film. The collaborative's course Digital Storytelling gave Hardt a particularly transformative experience when two of her colleagues, Greg Washum and Naim David, accompanied her to Centralia, Pa., — a ghost town with perpetual underground fires. The resulting film of their experiences won Best Documentary at CAMS 4.0, the Digital Media Collaborative's end-of-year cinema and media awards ceremony.

The collaborative has equipped Hardt with a unique blend of technical and storytelling skills. By taking part in these programs, Hardt said she’s graduated with “a well-rounded education in film and videography with the tools to succeed.”

This article is one in a series of profiles covering A&S’s Digital Media Collaborative and the opportunities it provides students.

Featured image at top: Director’s clapboard. Image by stokpic from Pixabay.