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Lights, Camera, Action!

IU students to film movie in
Madison, Ind., Milton, Ky.

The film is part of their senior class project

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – When you think about it, we’re all filmmakers. Our cat or toddler does something cute, and we record a video on our cell phone, and BAM! Filmmaker.
Naturally, being a filmmaker, we make sure to grab our light kit, tripod, check our exposure, make sure our dolly is set up, double check our kid or cat’s makeup, and silently count 1-2-3 before we begin.
There is a fine line between making home videos and making an actual film. It’s not everyone who decides to jump over this line to the world of actual filmmaking.

Photo provided

Emily Ward of Madison, Ind., and Peter Gianakakis of Chicago plan to bring a team of 15 actors and camera technicians to the area in March for filming.

Two seniors at Indiana University, Peter Gianakakis and Emily Ward, couldn’t help but cross that line. Unlike other I.U. students, the two 22-year-olds decided that if they were going to make a film, they weren’t going to just borrow a camera, bribe a few classmates with pizza, and just “make something.”
For their last semester at I.U. in Bloomington and their senior thesis, the two classmates decided to team up to complete the project. They’d worked together in classes before, with Gianakakis directing and Ward editing, and their dynamic just clicked. They decided they wanted to take things into their own hands and assemble a team that shared their drive. The two would be the producers, and they found 15 like-minded individuals to work with them.
Next they created a schedule, a budget, a website. Then they named their production company Stand Alone Productions.
With only a few months remaining before graduation, the two plan to bring their newly formed film crew to Ward’s hometown of Madison, Ind. to film the movie titled “The Estate.” They plan on using locations in and around Madison, including Ward’s family farm just across the Ohio River in Milton, Ky. They are scheduling production dates of March 23-25 and March 30 - April 1.
“The Estate” begins with three adult siblings returning home for the reading of their mother’s will. Once the siblings are home, it’s clear that there’s some bad blood between them. Ward and Gianakakis said they knew they wanted their film to be a drama and to focus on the obligations and dysfunction of families.
“We’re trying to highlight what’s happening in the world today. The world is a big family that is arguing with itself, right now,” said Gianakakis, whose hometown is Chicago. “We hope it will be an eye-opening film for people.”
Gianakakis and Ward were drawn to the world of filmmaking, and specifically producing, for different reasons. Ward loved the dichotomy of editing and producing. She began video editing in high school and got her first taste of producing in college during an I.U. summer school trip to Prague, Czechoslovakia.
“Since then, I’ve wanted to do both because they’re challenging in different ways,” Ward said. “Editing is very technical and precise, and producing is like putting together organized chaos.”
At 8 years old, Giana-kakis’ grandmother sat him down and forced him to watch horror films with her. As a youth, he hated the scary movies until his grandmother explained that the films were supposed to scare him – that there was intentionality of people making it. Then it dawned on him that he to wanted to, ultimately, make films that made an audience feel something.
For both students. this is the overall goal of the project. They want an audience to connect with the stories they tell and to feel something.

The two students are seeking funding for their film project. You can donate by visiting the Internet website www.gofundme.com/filmstandalone. Or visit their film webpage www.standalone.pictures or their Facebook page.

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