Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm has announced the beginning of a collaborative alliance among the state’s three major research universities to train students in filmmaking.

The 2010 Creative Film Alliance Summer Film Institute, an intensive eight-week program at the KBS Conference Center on Gull Lake, begins today. It’s bringing together Hollywood professionals with university faculty and using a professional film model as a learning environment for students from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.

“We’ve put Michigan on course as a great filmmaking center, and the institute will train our students to work and succeed in this industry,” Granholm said. “Just over two years into our film initiative, we’re creating an entirely new industry that offers good-paying jobs to those trained to do the vital work it requires.”

The film programs at Michigan’s three great research universities have launched a collaborative alliance to drive talent and resources toward creating and sustaining an indigenous film community across the state. Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University will leverage their combined expertise and resources in the film arts to create synergy and build a pool of talent that will invest their creative talents in Michigan.

The professional film training at the summer film institute will center on creating a single narrative film based on a student-produced script vetted by a team of faculty members representing the three universities. Students will begin the program with an intensive pre-production retreat and will break into production departments and determine roles on the set. Following the retreat, the program will move to one of the universities for the production and post-production phases.

Hollywood producer Bill Mechanic is the featured speaker at the summer film institute. Mechanic, a 1973 MSU grad, heads the independent production company Pandemonium Films and produced this year’s Academy Awards show. He previously held top positions with Fox, Disney and Paramount studios.

Michigan has hosted more than 100 film and television productions since Granholm signed into law sweeping new film incentives. Production spending by filmmakers topped $125 million in 2008 and $220 million in 2009.

“Filmmaking is a growth industry and a key to keeping our most creative and talented young people here in Michigan,” Granholm said.

(c) 2010 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved.


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