Using filmmaking to teach life lessons

Max Einhorn, a sophomore film and media arts major, has already jumpstarted his filmmaking career to produce his first film, The Back Lot.

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LARA STRAYER TTN Max Einhorn started his own film company senior year of high school and filmed his first feature film, The Back Lot, this past summer at his hometown in Middletown, Pa.

Sophomore film and media arts major Max Einhorn knows he’ll make mistakes, but he’s ready to make them and learn from them by starting his career in film now.

“I’ve had ideas for movies, but it wasn’t until senior year [of high school] that I knew I had to get one started,” Einhorn said.

His first feature film, The Back Lot, began with an idea in Fall 2008. Einhorn started planning in January and came up with about 53 scenes. He began writing in February and by May, had four drafts.

He wanted production to start as soon as the school year concluded. He cast his four main roles and held auditions for supporting parts. Afterward, he and his partners looked at the cost of production.

“After we cut [the original estimate] down, we decided the bare minimum we needed to raise was $2,000,” Einhorn said.

He held three fundraisers during the course of the summer, including a BBQ that helped them raise a total of $2,300. To add to that total, he had The Back Lot T-shirts ordered for the crew that printed about $400 worth of advertising from hometown businesses, shops and investors.

Once everything was ready, they filmed for two weeks straight in the beginning of August and ended up with about 60 hours of footage. The film is currently in the post-production phase, and Einhorn plans for it to be completely finished in April.

Before filming The Back Lot, Einhorn decided he needed a name for himself first and founded his own film company called Affinity Independent.

“You always need a name for yourself, even if you don’t have one,” he said. “If there’s at least one person behind you, it says this guy just might know what he’s doing.”

It wasn’t until The Back Lot got off the ground that he and the company started looking into logistics. He now works with two other Temple students and two consultants: a psychologist with a marketing background and financial analyst who is also a published film critic from Dallas. They meet weekly through a videoconference.

Between school and his film life, Einhorn said he knows he does a lot. However, he wants to start doing what he loves now and make the most of his time in college.

“Why not make your mistakes now?” he said. “Go to your limits, so you can find out what they are.”

Lara Taylor Strayer can be reached at lara.strayer@temple.edu.

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