Beyond is a new department sponsored web series pilot being filmed this spring. The project came out of Writers Room, a class which is modeled after TV writers rooms where scripts are collaboratively created. Student writers conceptualize, outline, write, and revise material throughout the semester — with staff writers creating first drafts, story editors creating subsequent drafts, and the instructor functioning as the creative consultant, revising and editing the final draft. The completed scripts for the pilot episode reflect the combined efforts of students Drew Duncan, Lindsay Atwood,Derek Reinhardt, Gina Thompson, and Ryan Parker. Episodes 2 through 5 were completed by additional teams including Matt Dartnell and Jonathan Ying. The entire piece is a 9-episode, limited series story — but only the pilot episode will be created as a proof of concept. Following the writing, the pilot script was handed off to a production team. In keeping with episodic television production schedules, the special project was given a much more narrow window for pre-production, compressing what would normally be a nearly year-long schedule for pre-production into six weeks. Guest speakers, including entertainment and SEC attorney Mark Eddy, producer/directorScott Swofford, Art Director Whitney Donald, and 1st AD Jason Allred, have addressed the 85-student crew during the Spring Semester. The story follows the frightened citizens of a small town, profoundly (and often comedically) affected by the roots of a mysterious tree. Students will fill all key crew positions; faculty and other professional mentors provide instruction throughout the process. The student director isHunter Phillips, mentored by Tom Russell. The producer is Matt Siemers, mentored by Courtney Russell. Josh Contor is the UPM; Nick Dixon serves as the 1st AD and will oversee the visual effects. Professional cinematographer Casey Wilson is the DP, mentoring an all student camera crew. The cast of the series includes student and faculty actors from our programs, including Tim Threlfall, Rodger Sorensen, Joseph Skousen, Jacob Tehrani, and Chauntel Lopez. Filming takes place in June and the date of release is projected to be in 2015.
Ariel Mitchell, a recent TMA graduate, received the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Award at the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. While a 10-minute selection of her play was being read by equity actors in a Millennium Stage reading, representatives of Samuel French, Inc., one of the most distinguished play-publishing companies in the U.S, liked what they heard and decided to publish her play, A Second Birth, on June 18. Congratulaitons, Ariel! To read the full article, clickhere.
Tom Lefler’s mother, Elizabeth Marie Jensen Lefler, the daughter of Hyrum Andrew Jensen and Ann Eliza Andrus died on May 26, 2014 at her home in Woodland, Utah. Elizabeth was born on January 1, 1922 in Holladay, Utah. She was the youngest of nine children and a twin to Milo A. Jensen. Click here to read the full obituary.