it's a start . . .

here’s the article written for the north park press, such as it is:

NP alums plan independent film
By Jen Sayler

Ever had an idea you always wanted to turn into reality, but never really got around to getting it started? You put it on the back burner, so to speak? Steve Luce, an ad design professor on campus, had just that — but sprinkled with passion and initiative — and it is this notion that named this Chicago community of an aspirant independent film crew, Back Burner Films.

The door to Tre Kronor wouldn’t budge when I tried to open it, so I waited patiently for some guys approaching. When the first one opened it without any trouble, I asked, “How did you do that?” He just sort of looked at me . . . When we entered the restaurant I threw out, “So, are you with Back Burner Films?” The two, who I later learned were both named Josh, both replied affirmatively . . . And this is, informally, how the evening began, or perhaps it was as formal as it would be all night.

The strangest group of people I’ve ever encountered sitting at one table before were waiting anxiously for food, jokes, and any questions I may or may not have prepared for them. From gothic seminarians, North Park graduates, and current students and employes, and a few others, the attitude was exclusively ambitious, hopeful and realistic.

Just like the gestation period for a human baby, Back Burner Films’ firstborn screenplay, Say Hello to Clive for Me, took nine months of serious writing to complete. Luce, the father of Back Burner Films, explained that the writing of the film, as well as the growth and expansion of the project, is completely collaborative.

The strong belief in synergy exists among this diverse group. Each member has his or her strength, yet they contribute anyway, because they believe in the film and the team. Because the project is solely run by volunteers, everyone readily chips in regardelss of whether or not it’s in their job description.

Say Hello to Clive for Me is a suspenseful comedy which tries to bring out the humor of everyday conversations between the five aspiring criminals. The story refrains from the average Hollywood ending, but rather shows that the choices and actions have corresponding consequences.

When I asked Luce about the budget, he said, “Hey, everybody, take out your wallets and tell me how much money you have. Jen wants to know our budget.” Since the budget consists of merely the money in the team’s pockets, it was made clear that any and all donations are accepted. This could mean monetarily or possibly even equipment.

Because of the September cutoff date for films being submitted for the Sundance Film Festival, the production schedule has been put on fast-forward. But the very determination and colorful personalities of the group will lend hand to the speedy project. For the potential film star: Say Hello to Clive for Me is still in the pre-production stage; casting has not yet taken place. For more information on the project (or donations!), check out www.backburnerfilms.com.