Lights, Camera, Action!


By Adrianna Zampieri

We all need a break from life every once in awhile, so why not escape from reality with some cinematic masterpieces? From February 26 – 27, the 2016 Texas Independent Film Festival will be held at the Memorial Student Center. This student-run festival and conference showcases some of the finest short and feature-length films produced by independent filmmakers, bringing people together to celebrate their unique vision. Tickets for this event are available for purchase online.

The origin of movies and motion pictures dates back to the late 1800’s, but it wasn’t until a hundred years later when film and motion picture technology started pushing creative boundaries. It’s clear that over the past century, new heights have been reached as a result of innovative minds and advanced technology. Films, whether classic or modern, have been a source of entertainment enjoyed by the general public for years, both in theaters and at home. Here are a few tutorials to help elevate your movie-viewing experience.

I6S16Feb22_popcorn Salted Caramel Popcorn

When you see a bag of this sweet and savory popcorn, you’ll be thinking, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Sure to be a hit with your taste buds, this salted caramel popcorn recipe by “Cookies & Cups” is the perfect snack to munch on while watching movies in your own home. Or if you’re feeling sly, sneak some with you into the theater to enjoy. In the words of Katharine Hepburn, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (about 16 cups popped corn)
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp kosher or sea salt, divided

How to Do It:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
  3. Pop popcorn kernels using air popper into a large bowl. If you don’t have an air-popper, you can use a plain microwave kind, or even pop some on your stovetop!
  4. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 tsp salt together over medium heat. Bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring.
  5. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir to coat evenly.
  6. Pour popcorn into a lined pan, and sprinkle remaining salt on top, 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp depending on your personal taste preference. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Allow popcorn to cool on a parchment-lined counter.

I6S16Feb22_floor pillow Fluffy Floor Pillow

Thanks to the development of laptops and tablets, you don’t need a television anymore to watch a movie at home. You don’t need a couch either. Instead, you can sprawl out on the floor bundled in blankets with your head propped on some pillows and the computer screen right in front of you. Sounds comfy, and this fluffy floor pillow tutorial by “Dwell Beautiful” is the perfect way to make it extra cozy. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

What You Need:

  • Two 31″x31″ fabric squares
  • Four 31″x7″ fabric rectangles
  • Matching thread
  • 4 bags of fiber fill stuffing

How to Do It:

  1. The floor cushion is going to be 30”×30”, so cut your squares to be 31”×31” to allow for a half-inch seam all the way around.
  2. To make the form of the floor pillow, pin one of the long thin strips to one of the squares, with the pretty sides facing in and the backside of the fabric on the outside.
  3. Then run the pieces through your sewing machine and give a half-inch seam allowance. Use a regular straight stitch with level 3 tension and level 2 spacing.
  4. Once you sew the first long piece to the square, repeat the process for the remaining 3 sides.
  5. Iron down all the seams flat. Then pin the second big square to the edge of one of the long side strips and sew.
  6. Now the slightly tricky part – sewing the remaining edges of the square to the side strips. It’s a bit tricky because you have to fold the fabric so that the edges meet up properly. Just be sure to line up the edges of your square with the side strips like you did in the beginning and you’ll be fine!
  7. Once you finish, you’ll have a floppy inside out box shape with open corners. To close off the corners, fold the edges flat and sew up and down across the opening. Then you’ll have a nice pretty corner.
  8. Leave one corner unsewn and flip the pillow right side out by pulling it through the unsewn corner.
  9. Now for the easiest part – stuffing! Press the stuffing into the corners first to give it shape. Then just add fluff until it’s filled to your comfort liking!
  10. After the floor pillow is all stuffed and fluffed, hand-sew the last corner et voila! A lovely finished, fashionable, modern, and comfy floor pillow!

I6S16Feb22_ticket box Ticket Memory Box

Midnight premieres, ultimate marathons, and multiple viewings, oh my! If you’re someone that loves going to see movies, then it’s a safe bet to say that you have quite the collection of leftover ticket stubs. This shadowbox tutorial from “Left on Peninsula Road” is a creative way to add decoration to you walls and display your memories.

What You Need:

  • Shadowbox from your local craft store
  • Scrapbooking paper or a printed photo
  • Stickers, ribbon, other decorating materials

How to Do It:

  1. When purchasing a shadowbox, look for one with a description that says “top loading” or one where you can slide the glass in and out. It’s important for you to be able to easily drop your ticket stubs into the shadowbox.
  2. For the background of your memory box, use scrapbook paper or print a movie-themed picture. You could create a collage with old photos of you and your friends. When you’ve decided, all you need to do is use double-sided tape to attach it to your shadowbox.
  3. Take it a step further and decorate the outside of your box. Use sticker letters to spell out “ADMIT ONE” on the glass, or bedazzle the sides of the box with rhinestones. Put your mark on it.


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