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September 09, 2010 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-09

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The Michigan Daily | michigandaily.com | Thursday, September 9, 2010

Movies the
M itten

'U' student filmmakers find a future in Michigan with
the help of the Screen Arts and Cultures department

By Andrew Lapin,
Senior Arts Editor
A storm is raging, and the set of"Applevill
It's late inthe afternoonon Aug.11,2010.1
within the University's North Campus Res(
a dozen crew members, all students, scram
save the expensive filmmaking equipment t
day's shoot. Boom operator, composer, co
and Music, Theatre & Dance senior Jason K:
21st birthday, is soaking wet as he races to lI
lights and boom mics onto the film's centr
"Pleasant Valley Assisted Living."
Those who aren't running around are hud
tent that houses assorted tables and now-sop
wiches. The tent was setup near a sewage dry
to their ankles in water. Holding down one c
University graduate student and Co-Directo
Ortlieb smokes a cigarette while gazing out
"I can't believe our whole set just went
ters.

The crew members are divided in equal loyalty to Michigan,
MSU and Wayne State University, but right now they all have one
thing in common: They're drenched. The grips on hand back up a
van until its trunk is nudging the edgof the tent, allowing for safe
transport of the cameras. LSA senior Bhanu Chundu, the director
of "Appleville," laughs in spite of it all.
"We have 20 people and the only thing that matters now is this
tiny little camera," Chundu remarks. He makes a rectangle with
his fingers and frames Ortlieb in an imaginary shot before hearing
thunder in the distance. "Wehave to hurry."
The unexpected weather has eliminated an afternoon's worth
of shooting from the film's already tight schedule. Those cameras
might be damaged, and consideringhowmuchis riding on the com-
pletion of this entirely student-runproduction, this is a big worry.
But for these aspiring Michigan filmmakers, unpredictability is
something they'll have to learn to weather.
The Hollywood of the Midwest
It may seem hard to believe, but the stormed-out set is actually
part of a Hollywood happy ending for Chundu and other Univer-
sity student filmmakers. The victory is the fact they could make
the movie in the first place.
Enrolling in film school in the Great Lakes State over programs
based in Los Angeles or New York may seem counterintuitive.
But not only are these students finding success in the University's
Screen Arts & Cultures program, many of them are also plotting
out their careers within the state.
The recent success of SAC students and graduates could be seen
as indicative of two promising newtrends. One is the rising stature
of the University's SAC program - which is one of the most inten-
sive and well respected film programs outside of the coasts and has
just moved to hi-tech new digs in North Quad. And the other is the
statewide movement to increase Michigan's presence in the film
community by growing and nurturing local cinematic talent.
See MITTEN MOVIES, Page 3B
Rather than all my
students moving to
. L.A. the idea is they
stay home and get to
work on films here.
-Jim Burnstein, SAC Professor and
screenwriting dept. coordinator
DESIGN BY LISA DUBOW & MAYA FRIEDMAN

weekend
essentials
Sept. 9 to Sept. 12
ON STAGE
MTango is starting
off the semester on
the right foot tomor-
row. The club will be
offering its customary
five-week intensive
beginner's course in
Argentine tango once
again this fall. Neither
partners nor experi-
ence is necessary; f it-
ness and increased sex
appeal are included
in the $25 price. That
works out to only $5
for each class! The
tango-ing will transpire
between the hours of
8-10 p.m. on the third
floor of Mason Hall.
AT UMMA
Take some time this
weekend to browse
UMMA's new col-
lection, "Out of the
Ordinary: Selections
from the Bohlen Wood
Art and Fusfeld Folk
Art Collections." The
collection opens Sat-
urday and will remain
on display until Spring
of 2011, featuring a
wide range of unique
wooden sculptures and
carvings. UMMA is
open from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. on Saturdays.
F LM
Grab a White Rus-
sian and guard any
nice rugs lying around,
because El Duderino
himself is return-
ing to Ann Arbor's
silver screen. For the
first midnight movie
of the fall semester,
Coen classic "The Big
Lebowski" will play
this Saturday at the
State Theater. Patrons
are encouraged to

dress up and arrive
in line early. Or, fuck
it, just go bowling.
CONCERT
There once was an
English folk-rock band
in the late '60s called
the Strawberry Hill
Boys - but during
its decades-long life,
the group made an
apples-and-oranges
shift to proggier,
glammier stuff and
shortened its name to
the sleeker "Strawbs."
Sound like another
fake band parody
film? It's for real.
For a truly one-of-a-
kind show, pick the
Strawbs this Thursday,
8 p.m. at the Ark.

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