Froshlife Website Gets a Facelift

We’ve shed some weight, lightened things up a bit, and are feeling very svelte in our new skin here on the Froshlife website. All the important information is still there, but hopefully a bit simpler to find and easier on the eyes.

It’s a precursor of lots of awesomeness go come.  For now, make sure you’re starting to think about your Froshlife movie ideas, and get signed up by clicking that fancy new button on the right column.  Or just click here.

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Froshlife 2013 is coming…

Your Froshlife planning team already has one meeting under it’s belt, and this year is going to be pretty amazing.

The planning team is bigger, faster, nimbler, and more plugged in than ever, and we’re excited about this year’s festival.

For now, start brainstorming those ideas, and get you and all your hallmates signed up here.

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Congrats to Everyone for a Successful Premiere!

Congratulations are in order for all the Froshlife participants this year.  We had a good crowd, some great entertainment, and of course, the movies were fantastic.

The first order of business the day after the Premiere is to dole out some well-deserved congratulations to some excellent standouts from last night.  Pegram came away the big winner, with King Lu taking home Best Director, Tre’Ellis Scott taking home Best Actor, and the movie, “d(U)ke” sweeping the Best Movie and People’s Choice Awards.  Their heartfelt story won over both the judges and the audience alike and they deservedly went home as big winners.  Epworth’s movie “The Search” won Best Score for Dylan Robbins’ work, as well as Best Editor for Harish Chatrathi.  Adriana Froehlich took home the Best Actress award in Alspaugh’s “Max & Mira”, and Lauren Devendorf successfully made everyone feel just a bit uncomfortable (in a thoroughly hilarious way) with her Best Story-winning effort in Bell Tower’s movie “#awkward”.

All of the movies are now available here on the site, as well as on Youtube.

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Live Webcast tonight

Want to experience the Froshlife Premiere but can’t make it to the event?  Well we’ve got you covered, because the entire event, and all of the movie screenings will be streamed live, starting around 7:30pm at Duke’s official ustream channel –

Feel free to tune in there and join the conversation on twitter as well using hashtags #dukelive and #froshlife.

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Premiere on Sunday!

Well we’ve been hard at work preparing for a really great Premiere night for this Sunday at Richard White Lecture Hall. Here’s a few notes about what’s coming up –

  • The Premiere, obviously – Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8pm at Richard White Lecture Hall.  Dust off your finest duds and shine your shoes, because this red carpet event, hosted by Duke University Improv, is sure to be a highlight of your first-year experience.
  • The Films – We got some really great submissions to the film festival this year and we can’t wait to share.  Some really smart storytelling going on this year…
  • The People’s Choice Award – In addition to the individual and overall winners, we’re also having a People’s Choice award where the winner will be decided by the audience.  Bring your cell phones because you’ll be able to text or tweet who you think the winner is from your phone during the Premiere.
  • Webcast – Can’t make it or want to share the night with family and friends far and wide?  Just tell them to come to this site on Sunday night around 7:30 for a live webcast of the event, complete with the in-house entertainment and full quality video of the films.
  • Oh yea, we made a movie too – After 10 years of organizing Froshlife, we figured it was about time that we try our own hand at making a movie under the pressure and rules of the competition.  We had fun with it, and we hope you enjoy it too.
Can’t wait to see you all on Sunday!
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Final Weekend of Production

There’s only 4 days left in this quick production period – and today begins the final weekend you’ll have to work on your movies.  Many an incredible Froshlife movie has been written, acted, filmed and edited in the final weekend of Froshlife, so even if you haven’t gotten too far, don’t worry, you’re probably not alone.

Here are a couple points you should all keep in mind:

Movies are Due in just a few short days! All completed movies and all equipment must be returned to the MPS lab in Lilly Library on Tuesday, Feb. 7th between 12 and 4pm.  If you have any questions about any step of the process, don’t hesitate to visit the MPS lab between now and Tuesday or email us at  You can view the MPS Schedule here.  Be sure to give yourself enough time for exporting!  And remember, everyone included needs to have a consent form filled out.  If you run out, you can grab extras from the Resources page (and while you’re there, there’s some other good production info too).

Need a pep talk?  Yesterday and today, I posted two notes from two previous Froshlifers with their best advice for you guys as you hunker down for the final weekend of production.  Check out the note from Andy Chu of Pegram, who wrote the score for last year’s amazing musical “Apples”, and make sure to read the note from Billy Baumgartner of Wilson, whose tech-savvy “Chroma” won Best Movie, People’s Choice, and Best Editor.  They have some really great, down-to-earth, get-it-done advice.

Need some prize motivation? – Check out our sponsor page to see what organizations are offering up prizes to this year’s winners.  Savvy minds can probably suss out a few of the prizes by the sponsor list, but just to whet your palette a bit – I just got the shipping notification for a box of shiny Apple equipment headed my way for a couple lucky winners care of (which, by the way, has hundreds of hours of video tutorials that could help your production process – and it’s available free to all Duke students).

We’ll be posting a bunch more stuff on our facebook page as we ramp up to the Premiere so make sure you visit us and like us there.

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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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Notes from a Former Froshlifer, Part 1 – Andy Chu

Today and tomorrow I’ll be posting a few words of wisdom from two former Froshlifers.  First up is Andy Chu, who wrote the music for last year’s amazing musical “Apples.”  Here’s Andy’s note:


Dearest Freshlings,

So by now, you’ve probably discovered just how rough it can be making a short film in 10 days when the amount of free time in your schedule is already less than the seven-minute limit on your video. This week last year, my dormmates and I in Pegram (that one with the music and the people with the voices) were scrambling around campus with a camera, a tripod, and an open laptop with feeble speakers, waking up at 7 am to catch the morning sun, negotiating with the bus driver lady to wait for our director’s signal, trying to get shots of the Chapel without getting the massive horde of people celebrating the Lunar New Year right next to the Chapel.

That week was crazy, and if you’re anything like us, this week must be crazy too. And you’re tired. And you have homework. And practice. For that club. And that intramural. And you have to do laundry. Go to a meeting. Update Facebook. And–oh, crap, was that the last C-1? Now you won’t get back to East for, like, TWENTY MINUTES.

Rest assured that, with luck, it will only get crazier, and on that note, a few tips, observations, and opinions:

1. Editing takes forever. Do not be alarmed. This is normal. Actually, editing’s great, since you actually get to see your work come together. But it really take forever. My director and I barely slept the night before it was due, and we skipped class to finish it. Which leads us to . . .

2. Sleep and class can wait. Maybe Michael’s not allowed to tell you this, but unless this sentence is censored, I think I am. The amount of work your video presents may be huge, but you have more time than you think if you prioritize. And I’m not telling you to miss class–I’m just telling you not to miss the epic awesomeness which is Froshlife, which is (among other things) a great opportunity to . . .

3. Actually get to know your dorm. There’s usually one or two film buffs in a dorm, and they often take command of the fleet, which is really great. But the coolest thing about Froshlife is that, if you do it right, you can come away with a greater trophy and tribute to the character of your dorm than a painted bench. Which means you all can . . .

4. Go to the premiere. It’s awesome. Just go.

So, yeah. Good luck.


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It’s Time to Make a Movie

Thanks for coming out to the Kickoff last night and grabbing your equipment boxes.  Now it’s up to you to figure out how to put together your Froshlife film over the next 13 short days.

To make it a bit easier though, we’ve put up a simple website where you can view all the other students who have signed up in your residence hall.  Just visit .  On that page you’ll see everyone who has signed up, plus the highlighted name of the person who picked up the equipment box.

Remember to read over the rules, have a good time, and to drop off your final movie and all of your equipment on Feb. 7 at the MPS in Lilly Library.  And for more updates and info, like us on facebook!

See you soon!

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Kickoff Tonight!

Tonight is the big night!  Come visit us in the Marketplace between 6 and 8 to pick up your box of equipment and get started on your Froshlife movie!  We’ll have all the boxes ready to go, filled with an Apple Macbook Pro, Bose Headphones, an HD Flip camera, an HD camcorder, tripod, and all the resources and help you’ll need to get started.  We’ll also have a few former Froshlifers on hand to answer questions or bounce ideas around.

Oh yea, and we also have a limited run t-shirt available for the first 200 or so participants, so be sure to get there early!

See you tonight!


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