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Hollywood producer gives rare insider look at Jack Black summer release

April 02, 2012

"Anatomy of a Feature Film," an exciting new series that offers students in the ASU School of Theatre and Film and community movie buffs an insider's look at a major Hollywood film before its release, will be held April 13-14 on the ASU Tempe campus and at the Harkins Theatres at Tempe Marketplace.

"Anatomy of a Feature Film" will delve into the making of one film – in this case, this summer’s release, "Bernie," starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Richard Linklater ("The School of Rock," "Bad News Bears," "Dazed and Confused"). Friday night's program will include a sneak peak of the film as well as an in-depth lecture by the film's producer, Judd Payne. The lecture (4-7 p.m.) and screening (8:15-10 p.m.) are free and open to the public at Harkins Theatres, Tempe Marketplace, intersection of Loops 101 and 202.

The lecture will include two parts designed to illuminate many aspects of the filmmaking process, according to Adam Collis, visiting professor of directing who also brings the popular "Hollywood Invades Tempe" to the ASU community.

“Part One is an industry overview of the major studios, mini-majors, small distributors, agencies, and management companies, specifically spelling out the players, their divisions, and how they typically operate,” Collis says. “Part Two introduces students to each key position in the life cycle of a feature film, covering all areas from script development to production to marketing and distribution.”

Students will learn the basic responsibilities and concerns of each key position on a feature film from the source material writer, screenwriter and director to the producer, line producer, cinematographer, editor and the heads of marketing and distribution.

On April 14, students will speak directly with the people who actually held those key positions on "Bernie." Payne and Collis will co-host the teleconference with each key member of the "Bernie" team getting their perspectives on what drew them to the project, what was involved in the making and releasing of the film, and why they think "Bernie" will be a successful film and release. April 14 events are open only to ASU filmmaking students.

ASU filmmaking students get a hands-on experience designed to build professional skills for careers in the motion picture and television industries. Founded in 2005, the Film and Media Production (FMP) Program at the ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is the first in the nation to include an ethical component to its curriculum. More than 500 students are enrolled in the filmmaking program and they each select from two courses of study: a non-studio based concentration in filmmaking practices and a highly selective studio-based concentration in film and media production.

“This is the program for students who dream of seeing their work on the big screen,” says F. Miguel Valenti, Lincoln Professor of Ethics and the Arts and assistant director of the School of Theatre and Film, who founded the film making program. “Students are trained to consider not only how to look through a lens, but why they should.”