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‘Scouts’ Honor: VMA Major’s Film Featured At UN International Film Festival

Oliver Schaffer’s film Scouts begins at 30:39

Those student films really can take Emerson filmmakers places. Just ask Oliver Schaffer ‘23. Their Frames Per Second (FPS) film, Scouts, made it all the way to Paris at the UN Women Generation Equality Forum International Festival.

Scouts is about a trio of Girl Scouts who are making wish bracelets when one of them comes out to their friends as non-binary.

Person standing behind tree
Oliver Schaffer ’23, Visual & Media Arts major

“The film wasn’t inspired by personal experience per se,” said Schaffer. “I do identify as non-binary and I was a Girl Scout for 13 years, but I never sat down and came out to anyone in my Girl Scout troop. I just found the whole situation kind of ironic.”

The script was originally made, and won, the Frames Per Second Freshmen Narrative contest at the beginning of Schaffer’s first year. From winning the contest they were awarded $2,500 to make the film. But the weekend before they were to begin filming COVID hit and everyone left campus. At the start of the next school year they restarted production on the 6-minute short. Everyone who worked on the film was an Emerson student.

Pablo Rodriguez Gomez ’23 initially started on the project as the production designer. But after the COVID shutdown he became the producer when the travel restrictions prevented the first producer from working on the film.

“I think that the greatest takeaway from a project like Scouts is that it set us up to take on bigger projects while having made collaborators and friends that we can rely on,” said Gomez, who will be board president for Frames Per Second this coming semester. “The fact that we were able to get into the Generation Equality Forum Film Festival (by the UN) is a testament to the support FPS provided to us.”

Schaffer will be the workshop coordinator for FPS this semester, and was amazed that their film was screened at the forum, held June 30 to July 2.

“It was incredible. I got to watch the 10 other films that were chosen as well,” said Schaffer. “It felt like such an honor to be screened with so many amazing and moving shorts. All of the chosen films had similar messages of equality, personal stories, and using film as a medium to try and make the world a better place.”

Festival poster with headshots of 12 different film makers
Oliver Schaffer’s film was one of 10 shown at the UN Generation Equality Forum International Film Festival.
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