The Course: Shooting an Indie Feature Film | University of Nevada, Las Vegas – UNLV NewsCenter | Episode Movies

Breaking through the movie industry is a tough business with no real credits to list in IMDB. Courses at UNLV ensure students have the experience while making an indie film written and directed by award-winning feature filmmakers.

This fall, a cast and crew of students, faculty and professionals are filming Riot in Bloom on campus and around town. Created by three award-winning filmmakers/teachers from UNLV’s film department: director Brett Levner, screenwriter and casting director Roudi Boroumand, and producer May May Luong (producer).

Together with their students they will shoot and edit Riot in full bloom Then, in the spring of this semester, you’ll dive into post-production. The ultimate goal is to screen the film at film festivals and secure digital distribution.

Learn more about the immersive course here

About FILM 450:1013

This is a film production class in which fall semester students work on a feature film alongside faculty and film professionals.

Why is it taught?

To teach students the process of fundraising and producing their own low-budget independent films outside of the college system. Students will be able to make their own projects with minimal budgets.

“Gone are the days when you had to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a movie,” says Levner. “Now, with the advent of digital cinema and the advent of streaming and the internet, there is a demand for content. We want to inspire our students to take the bull by the horns and stop waiting and make their films. This course will show you how that is possible.”

who takes it

Undergraduate and Graduate Film Department Majors and Minors.

Who teaches it?

UNLV film professors Brett Levner and May May Luong previously teamed with then-student Ryan Galvan for the film The distance. The trio are working together again on the indie film Riot in full bloom.
Brett Caroline Levner

Levner is Associate Professor of Film at UNLV. Levner received her BFA with honors in Film and Television Production from New York University and her MFA with honors in Directing from Columbia University. She was the first woman to win the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Award for her short film. be role and was recognized for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2005 Association of Independent Commercial Producers Exhibition. It is currently included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. She has numerous references as a writer, director and producer, including as the director of the feature film, The distance, on the underage sex trade in Las Vegas. Under her tutelage, her students have won numerous awards, including a Pacific Southwest Student Emmy Award, an Addy Award, a Best Nevada Filmmaker Award, and a Spirit of Activism Award.

May Mai Luong

Alumna Luong earned a BA in Film with a minor in Theater and an MFA in Writing for Dramatic Media from UNLV. In 2006 she received the Most Promising Filmmaker Award at the UNLV Spring Flicks Festival. She also produced and edited Spanking Lessons, a short film by Professor David Schmöller. It was an official selection at the 2007 CineVegas Film Festival and won the CineVegas Nevada Short Film Jury Prize. She teaches film production courses at UNLV and also works on the development of a number of feature film and television projects.

How does the class work?

Students participate in the production and shooting of the film. They are divided into departments based on their areas of interest and previous experience, including direction, production, cinematography, grip and electrical, artistic direction, costumes, sound, and script supervision. Each department is headed by a member of the film faculty or a professional. These department heads train and supervise the students in their area.

Filming for the indie film on the set Riot in full bloom are: student cameraman Liddor Bega; UNLV graduate and cinematographer Ryan Galvan; and alumna and 1st camera assistant Traiana Nescheva.

What will the students be surprised about?

“The amount of planning and collaboration it takes to make a feature-length film,” says Luong. “Making a feature-length film takes many hours and hard work, but it can be rewarding to see the end result on the big screen and know that you helped make it a reality.

“Also, the real-world experience that comes with making this film is knowing how to work with others,” adds Levner. “Filmmaking is inherently collaborative, so you have to learn how to work well with others. This is a skill that can be applied to many disciplines.”

What excites instructors most about this course?

“Students who want to go into narrative film production after they graduate,” says Levner, “need to work on productions and get recognition for their work on the project, and for many of them it will be their first screen work on a feature film.” be!”

Where are the students going next?

“We will be offering a follow-up course called Editing the Indie Feature Film in the spring,” says Luong. “It’s co-taught by Brett Levner and Jason Edmiston. Students interested in editing can take this course and participate in the editing of the film together.”

What is the reading list?

  • Producer to Producer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Low-Budget Independent Film Producing by Maureen Ryan.
  • The Complete Film Production Handbook, Fourth Edition (American Film Market Presents) by Eve Light Honthaner.

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