Student Films “(In)Dependency“ and “Fated“ Begin Production
By: Alyssa Goelzer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior seminars give film production and animation students a chance to show off everything they’ve learned during their time at MSUM.
The students are given creative freedom to create a project with their classmates that will get played for the student body at the end of the academic year. Once they’ve got a sturdy team to work with and their idea is greenlit, these students get to do all the steps involved in creating a film: scriptwriting, casting actors, creating props, location scouting, composing music, promoting, rehearsals, scheduling and much more. There are currently six teams doing live-action films and two groups doing animations.
“(In)dependency” is a short film by a team consisting of Matthew Kotlan (writer/director), Kali Shaw (producer), Ryan Moorman (cinematographer), and Justin Bullinger (editor). The story is a drama about a woman struggling with an addiction and her long road to recovery. Kotlan said his biggest inspiration when writing the film was his sister’s real-life battle with heroin. He also noted 2000 movie “Requiem for a Dream” as an inspiration because it shows addicts in a different light than how they’re usually depicted.
“I want to tell the unseen story of an addict’s life that deals with their real relationships and emotions,” explained Kotlan.
The film is expected to be approximately 15 minutes long. So far, the team has completed their promotional video, and has hand-picked their two main cast members for the film. They plan to hold a casting call within the next few weeks and finish casting by the end of the month.
“It’s all uphill, everything is in the future,” Kotlan said about the plans for the film over the rest of the school year.
“Fated” is a fantasy adventure animated film. The story revolves around a princess who is deemed by a prophecy as doomed to die. After being saved by an assassin, the princess persuades him to teach her how to defend herself. Along the way, Fate (embodied by multiple characters) does all they can to lead the princess towards the path of the prophecy.
“Fated” is being made by the group of Demi Turner (storyboard artist/scriptwriter), Audrey Lau (producer), Cameron Gerrity (director), Omar Torres (background designer), Ernesto Fonseca (sound design), and Remmer Schoenbohm (character designer).
Scriptwriter Turner noted her inspiration is the book series by Sarah J. Mass titled “Throne of Glass.” She added that life itself is a big inspiration for the story.
“People are told what they need to be doing and how to live, but you can choose your own pathway through life,” she said.
Tuner said they should know their film’s cast within a week, since they just held a casting call. They’ve also gotten their character and background designs done and are starting to pull sounds together. She also noted that they are on their final edit of the script and should be beginning storyboarding over the next few weeks. The film will be approximately five minutes long once complete.
Both films have begun their social media presence, so if the films are of interest to you, check them out on social media and follow their journey through production and to completion in the spring.