Daniel Kremer is a film purist, but he appreciates any filmmaker who will try anything new.
“I respect anything that blows my hair back,” Kremer said. “Anyone willing to branch out and break the mold.”
The sophomore film major said he hopes to expose people to films they haven’t seen before and open up new discussions. That’s why he took over the reigns of “Film Fridays” last year, a weekly screening of underground classics.
“My intention with ‘Film Fridays’ has always been to delve into the minds of the audience right after the lights come on,” Kremer said. “That’s what it’s all about. Getting knee-jerk reactions.”
Last spring, The Temple News commented on sparse attendance at campus events in a photo. “Film Fridays” was one of them.
Today, however, the screenings are gaining more respect on campus, and more people are attending.
“Before a screening of an independent film, Holy Mountain, we actually had to turn people away,” Kremer said. “There wasn’t a seat to be found in the whole place.”
“Film Fridays” was started by alumna Lydia Paterson while she was in graduate school. While Kremer said Paterson screened great films, they were mainly documentaries and the program itself went largely unpublicized.
“You could say ‘Film Fridays’ is my baby,” Kremer said. “But it is my adopted baby.”
With the program under his control, Kremer has made it into a success, not only by his choice of obscure “cult-classic” films, but also by posting more flyers.
“Paterson was hanging all the posters in Annenberg Hall, but they’re needed throughout campus to attract crowds,” Kremer said.
As a child growing up in Pittsburgh, Kremer had a stuttering problem, which invited regular teasing from his peers.
“That’s why I got into films,” Kremer said. “I used them to escape the ridicule.”
When he was 8 years old, he began to consider filmmaking as his calling. By 12, Kremer was shooting his own versions of the Pink Panther starring his cousin as Detective Clouseau. In the eighth grade, he had already made a three-hour documentary.
Kremer’s speech impediment also opened new doors for him in the field. When he was 13, Kremer attended the National Stuttering Association Convention. A documentary maker, Peter Nicks, was so impressed by Kremer’s knowledge of films that he offered him a starring role in a documentary alongside platinum selling recording artist “Scatman” John Larkin, who also had a stuttering problem.
“Nicks paralleled our lives and showed how someone with this infliction can turn it into a success as the Scatman did,” Kremer said. “We filmed some in Pittsburgh, then he flew us out to Los Angeles to shoot the rest. It was truly an eye-opener.”
Today, the film student’s stuttering problem still lingers, but Kremer said he is unashamed of his speech. He leads discussions on how those who stutter are portrayed in movies before huge audiences at conventions.
“Stuttering made me who I am today,” Kremer said. “It’s a motivator. I work much harder. I have to go above and beyond the rest to prove myself.”
This year, Kremer has more planned than ever before.
“Every term we try to get at least one filmmaker to come in and speak to the group,” Kremer said. “This semester we have four planned.”
Filmmakers John Gross, Claudia Tomaz, Eli Hollander and Paul Sylbert are all scheduled to speak this semester.
Kremer is now working on his first production with a full crew and a substantial budget, titled Crumbs from a Hard-Boiled Egg. According to Kremer, the film follows two “exceptionally bright” 18-year-old high school graduates as they go against everyone’s advice and decide to get married.
His adviser for the piece is Sundance Film Festival Award-winner Paul Harrill.
“Dan is a promising young filmmaker and I’m impressed with his organization of Film Fridays – he’s both passionate and knowledgeable about cinema,” Harrill said. “Students like Dan are part of what makes Temple’s Film and Media Arts program so strong.”
Cody Glenn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.