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Luke Henderson / Senior Staff Photographer

For Dad Films is a collective composed of Richard Whiddington, CC ’15, Nick Lieberman, CC ’16, and Paul Nungesser, CC ’15 (left to right).

In October, Richard Whiddington and Paul Nungesser, both CC '15, founded film production collective For Dad Films to provide undergraduates the opportunity to develop their filmmaking skills.

The group, whose first project was the music video for "I Can't Call You" by student band Jeffers Win, has recently begun filming their first short film, titled "A Certain Tendency," which addresses the challenges of being an international student, something which Whiddington and Nungesser, as international students themselves, are both familiar with.

"A Certain Tendency" tells the story of a Korean student struggling to adapt to life at an American university. "We are not telling the story where this Korean girl arrives to an American university," Nungesser, the cinematographer, said. "This is a usual girl that happens to be a Korean. What we want to tell is the idea of being in a new place and more about who she is based on her friends ... and how she chooses to behave. In other words, how she sees herself after exploring and re-evaluating her new self and place."

Whiddington, a London native, who spent time studying in Beijing, China, drew on his own experience while writing the script. "I have experienced this several times: What it is like to arrive to a place where the things are completely reverse," he said. "I certainly sympathize with the idea of being new to a place."

This theme also hits home for Nick Lieberman, CC '16, the film's director, although he is not an international student. "I changed schools a lot. I moved to different schools ... and every time was a new kid in a new environment," he said. "So, there is always time when you come to a school like that, where you are not sure about the place, and defining myself in an existing community has certainly helped me."

Members are enjoying the freedom afforded them by working without faculty supervision."There are no teachers that are saying this was the right way doing it and this is not," said Lieberman.

They also appreciate the chance For Dad Films gives them to explore their talents further. "I love to write. That's what I want to do my whole life," Whiddington said. "I never wrote a screenplay until last semester, and when I started it became really different way of thinking."

The creators of "A Certain Tendency" plan to continue making films and refining their skills. "For me this is what I want to do in the future, so I do a lot ... to try to learn about this work and how magic happens," Nungesser said.

"We really love working together. The goal for me is to make more film and more art," Whiddington said.

The crew is filming mostly on campus, but has also used several off-campus locations, such as a karaoke bar in Koreatown. Production will wrap after three weeks, and the rest of the time will be spent in post-production. Students will be able to see the film in September. | @ColumbiaSpec