Notes from a Former Froshlifer, Part 2 – Billy Baumgartner

Today is the second installment of a few words of wisdom from two former Froshlifers.  Today’s note is from Billy Baumgartner, whose film “Chroma” cleaned up last year’s awards ceremony, winning Best Movie, People’s Choice, and Best Editing.  Here’s Billy’s note:


Dear Spielbergs, Bigelows, Fujimotos, Zimmers, DiCaprios, and Hepburns:

(I’ll give you a moment to finish Googling)

I trust that you have at least begun considering the possibility of possibly starting to think about working on your film for the impending Froshlife deadline. Either way, I know how you feel. I’m here to make sure that despite the stresses and unforeseen issues that assail any filmmaker, you still turn in the masterpiece that has haunted your dreams for weeks.

My first and biggest piece of advice is to be ready to improvise. Though you had a cast picked out and signed up for the project, unfortunately people’s schedules change. You might think you need Jane for shot number 11, but remind yourself you really only need a 5’6” brown-haired girl with the ability to read. The magic of Froshlife is that this is a dorm war, so just ask the first person you see in the hall. She’ll be happy you did when she wins “Best Actress”, simply because she happened to leave her room for PopTarts and Diet Coke at the right time.

My second piece of advice is to calm down, and not be afraid to ask for help. The hardest part of Froshlife for 99% of people is the editing phase. My colleagues and I are here to help. To the right inside of Lilly, and in the basement of Old Chem, there are MPS Labs staffed with trained students waiting patiently for you to arrive and assault them with film editing questions.

Last, have fun with it. Grab some Cookout with the team, unfold your director’s chair, and edit into the wee hours of the night. Laugh about the times when lines were forgotten, and make sure you cut them out. Tell everyone in your dorm to come to the premier and vote for your film.

Happy filmmaking.


Billy Baumgartner

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