It’s finally here! The big announcement of which Collaborative Cinema film we’ll be making this summer! So without further ado: Nathaniel Schardin will direct a film based on Ian Walls’ script, The Vampire Formerly Known as Dracula.
Ian’s script, a comedy about a traditional Dracula ending up in contemporary America only to find himself displaced by a new breed of fashionable vampires, immediately won over the Collaborative Cinema screenwriting mentors with its wit. Ian is just finishing his freshman year at the Milwaukee High School for the Arts, and he was introduced to the Collaborative Cinema screenwriting program through my visit to Ralph Janes’ theatre class. On that fall day, the students engaged in a couple of brainstorming and film activities before writing one-page ideas for a short film. Who knew I would leave that morning with the seeds of a hilarious script literally in my hands?
How does Ian feel about this opportunity? Like this: “This sounds super awesomely awesometastic, and I can’t wait to be a part of this!”
This year we did something a little different to choose the director for our Collaborative Cinema film: we opened applications to emerging directors in the Milwaukee area, and five of those applicants pitched films based on the top scripts from the screenwriting program. I was so pleased by the quality of filmmakers who applied. Several had just graduated from college and were looking for more experience, one is a well-respected producer who infrequently gets to direct, and one is a recent transplant to Milwaukee—a filmmaker who comes with a lot of experience and talent but few area connections.
Nathaniel Schardin, who will direct the film, is a three-time Student Emmy-nominated filmmaker and former Milwaukee Film intern who recently graduated from MATC. In his pitch, he followed Ian’s lead and sold us on an amusing, historically-based tale of past meeting present and cultures colliding. Ian and Nathaniel will be a terrific fit for each others’ work.
How does Nathaniel feel about the opportunity? When I called him, he calmly said, “I know you can’t see it right now, but I’m very, very excited.”
The film shoot will take place in mid-July, and we are now accepting applications for select crew positions, mostly of the production assistant variety. These unpaid positions are meant for people with a filmmaking background who are looking to gain more on-set experience and meet people working in the local film industry.
Bear with me one more moment while I recognize the other writers of top scripts and the directors who pitched them. Each of these scripts could have been made into a terrific film by any one of these directors. I know I say it all the time, but we are truly lucky to have such talent in this town. And if you know anyone who has an extra $60,000 sitting around, we would love to make all these films!
Collaborative Cinema Screenwriting Finalists and screenplay titles:
Arwen Bleksley (Shorewood High School), The Salesman Magician
Colton Dunham (soon-to-be UWM Film student), The Tree House
Elizabeth Klitgaard (Milwaukee School of Languages), Once Upon an Outfit
Miriam Whitaker (Beloit College), The Stand
Collaborative Cinema Director Finalists: