This spring, the University community will have the chance to explore the world of movie-making first hand.
Project M Film, an idea envisioned by recent University graduate Dominic Bartalino, presents an opportunity for aspiring writers, actors and directors to be able to realize their dreams of making their own movie.
Project M Film was inspired by Project Greenlight, a joint effort by Miramax Films & Television and LivePlanet to create an online screenwriting competition that would give an unknown screenwriter the chance to make their movie with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chris Moore as executive producers.
After toying around with the idea for a couple of years, Bartalino said he decided to use the University”s resources to do what Damon and Affleck were doing, but with a “U of M twist.”
The project is open to anyone affiliated with the University and calls upon the talents and ideas of everyone ranging from writers, actors and producers to costume and makeup artists. The deadline for the screenwriting contest is April 27 and the filming will take place over the summer.
The winner”s film will be shown at the Michigan Theatre next fall. Bartalino, who hopes that this will become an annual event, said he is planning on funding Project M Film through corporate sponsors but is also considering a non-profit route.
“Hopefully it will dig up and showcase the hidden talents of kids who always wanted to write that screenplay, sit behind the camera, or be a star but never had the opportunities,” LSA sophomore Ryan Lewis said.
“The idea of a film being done entirely by the community at University of Michigan excited me a lot,” Shrihari Sathe, an LSA freshman who is planning to major in film and video studies, said.
Sathe also pointed out that he is eager to gain first-hand experience though this project, one of Bartalino”s main objectives.
Another goal of Bartalino”s is to bridge the gap between students and faculty through the process of filmmaking and the open invitation to anyone affiliated with the University.
Bartalino graduated from the University in August with a degree in general studies and has expressed a strong interest in the entertainment business. He said his main focus is on “putting entertainment into the hands of everyday people.
Bartalino added that he chose “Entertainment for the People, by the People” as the motto for his company Blazing Horizons.
Echoing Bartalino”s vision, Lewis said, “It sounds like a really great idea because I know that there is a lot of talent at the University that remains untapped because of a lack of funding and the difficulties in registering for film classes.”
Since this project is open to anyone who is affiliated with the University, it provides that opening or big break for those who do not yet have an outlet for their movie making creative energy.
LSA sophomore Katie Moore said she is eager to get started with this project.
“I”m very excited to see what the story line will be, and when the project will begin rolling,” she said. “It”s a great project for those of us who live in Ann Arbor over the summer.”
Anyone interested can visit the website at www.projectmfilm.com.