The microphones are still off, the sets are unfinished, and the actors do not have scripts to practice. In fact, the group is not a recognized student organization at the university.
A new student group, started entirely by freshmen film and media arts majors eager to jumpstart their careers, is focusing the camera on its creative talents. Although the group, the Temple Film Collective, won’t be coming to a theater near you until the spring, it is a dedicated organization and is working intensely to lift the group off the ground and onto the silver screen.
TFC was created by Max Einhorn, who said the organization will “build a strong network base” and allow members taking the initiative to go beyond the classroom and get their “feet wet in the industry.”
The group offers students more creative freedom than classes that often pose parameters or restrictions.
TFC President Wyatt Fertig disagrees with some of requirements students have to fulfill in the film and media arts department.
“Forced creativity can be difficult,” he said. “With the group, we can really express ourselves.”
A challenge the group encountered was finding a place to meet. Members currently use a room on the second floor of Presser Hall. After the university acknowledges TFC as a registered student organization, however, meetings are planned to be held in Annenberg Hall.
Another challenge was finding professors to advise the group because a faculty member is required for it to be recognized.
Christopher Cagle, a lecturer in film history and theory, and Michael Kuetemeyer, a producer and professor of experimental media, were both approached by members in the group and agreed to assist the needs of the organization.
“We talked to current teachers long enough to find someone interested, said TFC treasurer Justin McGoldrick. “Lucky for us, we found two teachers willing to help us out.”
Throughout the year, TFC hopes to write, film and produce five 15-minute short films. Because every member must write, direct, act, produce, edit and do everything else that goes into making a film, TFC’s creation will be a learning experience for each student.
“The group has to learn to be well-rounded on everything that goes into making a film, not just one thing like directing,” said Kyle Hess, vice president of TFC.
“I like having this as a resource to fall back on and to train for the real world,” added TFC’s secretary Sartaj Phanda.
Philadelphia is the nation’s fourth-largest media market, which the group hopes to take advantage of.
“I really want to see where this goes in connection with Temple and with the city,” Einhorn said.
After deciding on a group name, TFC voted on 14 original movie ideas that were pitched by the students. Throughout the year, the group will simultaneously work on the top five pitches, which they look forward to showcasing in a film festival they hope to put together early next spring.
“This is what we want to do with our lives,” Fertig said. “Getting involved is the best way to help our future. We really feel a sense of camaraderie that you couldn’t find in other places.”
To find members for the group, Einhorn messaged film majors on a Facebook group, Temple Class 2012, asking them to join his own Facebook group and to come to TFC meetings. It now has 35 consistent members from different majors and nearly 100 Facebook members.
Though it is a film group, TFC members are looking for theater, BTMM, art and just about any other major to assist them in their films.
“I always liked films,” said freshman civil engineering major Jared Wagner. “And now I’m making a difference in them.”
Matthew Petrillo can be reached at email@example.com.