Twenty students are about to set out on an intense journey this summer and delve deeply into the art of filmmaking.
Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Montana Institute for the Arts and Flathead Valley Community College, the Institute is bringing back its two-week film school this summer. Instructed by film director and writer Michael Polish (“Twin Falls Idaho,” “Jackpot” and “Northfork”) and his wife, actress and producer Kate Bosworth (“Blue Crush,” “Superman Returns”), students will be immersed in all aspects of filmmaking, from screenwriting, directing and camera work to editing, acting and sound.
The course will lead students from developing a story idea to producing a finished short film using the newest innovations in industry equipment.
Travis Bruyer, executive director for the Montana Institute for the Arts, will be directly involved in the workshop as well, as production manager and coordinator. He explained how the two-week course is designed.
“The first week the focus is on writing, with the intention of going from script to screen,” Bruyer said.
All students will develop a story idea into a script. Toward the end of the week students will be introduced to production and camera work.
The class will choose the top four scripts, which will then be developed into film shorts, from 3 to 10 minutes in length.
“The students whose scripts were selected to be produced will not be able to direct their own film. They do not get total control,” Bruyer said. “They have to give some of that up. That’s what filmmaking is about.”
In the second week, the students leap into production mode.
“The second week is sleep-deprived,” Bruyer said. Students have just one week to go from script to screen, some as actors, others as camera operators and production crew.
“They can get pretty rummy but it’s fun to watch them work,” Bruyer said, adding that additional mentors will be brought in during the second week to guide the process.
Polish and Bosworth, who own a home in Bigfork and married in 2013 in Philipsburg, are passionate about seeing the Montana film community flourish. They met Bruyer a few years ago at an event among mutual friends and family. Bruyer, who has served 20 years in Montana law enforcement and advises filmmakers in the state on the realistic portrayal of military and police scenes, has been interested in film since college. He initiated a conversation with the couple about starting a film school in Montana. Polish and Bosworth were not only encouraging, but also offered to help establish the Institute. This is the second year they’ve taught this summer program.
Long-range, the Montana Institute for the Arts foresees potentially offering a two-year media program in the Flathead Valley and building a production studio accessible to both local and nonlocal filmmakers.
Bringing their years of experience to the film course, Polish and Bosworth will be joined by some of their fellow actors and filmmakers. Students will have the unique ability to work one-on-one with these industry professionals, asking questions and gaining invaluable advice on their projects.
“We hope they walk away with an enriching experience and a better idea of what it takes to get into the industry,” Bruyer said, adding, “This is a destination course in a destination place. We also plan to get them outside and have some fun.”
Entertainment Editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.