July 9, 2012 /FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE /
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FEATURE FILM BY MAD MEN CREATOR MATT WEINER SHOOTS AT UNCSA SCHOOL OF FILMMAKING
Students Gain Real World Experience on YOU ARE HERE
WINSTON-SALEM – YOU ARE HERE, at UNCSA.
That’s right – a feature film shot in and around Winston-Salem was also shot on the campus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). But UNCSA was not the typical movie background, with pretty coeds as extras and starchy old academic buildings as scenery.
For the past two months, YOU ARE HERE has, in fact, been utilizing the facilities of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking “Studio Village,” including two of the school’s three sound stages, as well as UNCSA Film students, who are putting their training to work.
About a dozen UNCSA Film students worked as interns on YOU ARE HERE, and about a half-dozen more alumni were hired as crew members. (Note: There were a few School of Design & Production and School of Dance students in the mix!) Positions ranged from production assistants to props department to accounting department.
“It’s really been such a gift on every level,” said Interim Dean Susan Ruskin of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking. “The opportunity arose to put our facilities to use when they are typically empty, during early summer, giving us a chance to show our facilities off to the film industry,” Ruskin said. “But the biggest benefit is to our students, who are learning how things are done in the real world.”
YOU ARE HERE Director Matthew Weiner agreed. “We’ve been blown away by the resources available to us at UNCSA,” he said. “We’ve had a great experience here.
“The facilities are amazing – in many cases, beyond what we’ve seen at professional studios,” Weiner said. “And we are extremely happy with the work the students are doing. We found the students to be conscientious, well prepared, and creative.”
YOU ARE HERE is an original contemporary romantic comedy from Mad Men creator Mathew Weiner about eccentric bachelor friends whose lives dramatically change when one inherits a large fortune and both fall for a beautiful young widow.
Photo by Brent LaFever
Some of the YOU ARE HERE
UNCSA crew on set
If the YOU ARE HERE production had a familial feel, it’s because many of the approximately 80 crew members and some members of the cast have worked together for years on Mad Men, which was on hiatus. To heighten that feeling, the Moving Image Archives of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking screened films for them every week.
In addition, Betty Mauceri, wife of UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri, hosted a party for the production recently at the Chancellor’s residence. Maestro Mauceri was in Cologne, Germany, performing at Philharmonic Hall and broadcasting his concert to all of Europe.
Ruskin said she hopes to build further bridges to the film community through partnerships such as YOU ARE HERE. “Such partnerships will serve the educational interests of our students, will bring more recognition to our film school, and will bring more film production to the state of North Carolina,” she said. “And everyone knows what a positive impact film production has on economic development in this state,” she added.
An award-winning film executive and producer whose credits include such films as WOMAN IN RED, HAUNTED HONEYMOON, SEE NO EVIL/HEAR NO EVIL, FUNNY ABOUT LOVE, ANOTHER YOU, and GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT, Ruskin previously worked with YOU ARE HERE star Owen Wilson on ANACONDA, which also starred Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Jon Voigt.
YOU ARE HERE is not the only film with UNCSA connections that has been shot in the Piedmont Triad recently. SUSIE, an independent feature about a dog that survived abuse to inspire change in the way society treats animals, employed UNCSA alumni, students and faculty, as did the made-for-TV film BEVERLY LEWIS’ THE CONFESSION.
As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. World-renowned conductor and educator John Mauceri became Chancellor of UNCSA in 2006. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.
Some of the YOU ARE HERE UNCSA crew on set; photo by Brent LaFever:
1st (two) Rows L to R: (red shirt) Julia Festa (Producing ’13, worked as producer’s assistant); (brown shirt) Haley Chitamber (Screenwriting ’12, drew sketches for a prop sketchbook); (multicolor shirt) Taylor Sommers (Production Design ’12, worked as props assistant); (plaid shirt) Brandon White (Screenwriting ’13, worked as stage manager)
2nd Row L to R: (red shirt) Glenn Peison (Production Design ’08, worked as a set dresser); (blue shirt) Cara Rhodes (Production Design ‘11, worked in the art department); (gray and green shirt) Konstantin Sumtsev (Producing ’13, worked as production accounting clerk)
3rd Row L to R: (striped shirt) Ben Hall (Directing ’13, worked as production office assistant); (brown shirt) Mitch Rumfelt (Producing ’14, worked as an office production assistant); (blue shirt and hat) Jake LaGuardia (Cinematography ’13, worked as a camera department production assistant)