Thursday, November 21

Student film opens tonight

Student film group FPS will premiere their annual film, "Dilated," directed by Brian Tan, tonight at Ackerman Grand Ballroom.

Student film group FPS will premiere their annual film, "Dilated," directed by Brian Tan, tonight at Ackerman Grand Ballroom. FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY SOCIETY

In the week before the premiere of his film “Dilated,” Film & Photography Society President Brian L. Tan, was in pain.

“The stress of this movie is killing me, and I got a terrible fever, flu and ulcers,” said Tan, a fourth-year political science student.

The anxiety stems from the fact that “Dilated” is not only the culmination of the society’s work since fall quarter. Tan calls it his “swan song” because of his impending graduation this year.

“This is it, and then it’s out into that harsh, crazy world,” Tan said. “We made no compromise in the quality of this film which makes me more confident, but also more scared and nervous.”

“Dilated,” with a running time of about 20 minutes, spins the tale of a zombie being hunted by humans, uncovering a mysterious plot in the process.

“Imagine “˜The Transporter’ meets “˜Crank’ meets “˜Bourne,’” Tan said. “It’s satirical, turning the concept of modern action films on its head.”

The film marks the most ambitious project the society has undertaken, using their biggest budget yet of just under $10,000, while still managing to make intensive use of special effects and props such as a Humvee.

“It felt like the real deal, where money’s on the line,” said Ty Coughenour, a fourth-year film and political science student who worked as second unit director on the film. “It felt like a real big-budget movie set.”

The society has been advertising relentlessly for the premiere, manning Bruin Walk with members of the cast and crew in soldier and zombie outfits and co-programming with organizations such as the Campus Events Commission, Undergraduate Students Association Council and the Student Committee for the Arts.

Tan’s position as finance committee chair on USAC contributed to the council’s assistance with the film.

“Everyone on council, we’re all accommodating of each other’s paths, and we felt like we could mutually benefit from promoting the premiere, since FPS often helps them film and photograph events,” Tan said.

Mainly, these organizations help get the word out through their mailing lists and websites, reaching a built-in audience which otherwise would have been more difficult for the society to target alone, Tan said.

For example, the promotion of “Dilated” by the Campus Events Commission, which regularly puts on the “Free Sneaks” and “$2 Movie” programs, places FPS’ premiere on the radar of students who already follow the films being screened on campus.

“We do a lot of things with big studios and productions for our programs, and this is on par with what the studios are doing,” said Joanne Lin, campus events commissioner. “The film looks great, and it’s beneficial for students to see what they can do with hard work and determination.”

Coughenour, who has also been on the film staff of the commission for three years, is in charge of the branch of advertisement for the premiere.

“We’re just trying to reach every outlet on campus and publicize as much as we possibly can,” Coughenour said.

The goal of their marketing plan is to fill the Kerckhoff Grand Ballroom to its maximum capacity with 1,000 people, double the amount of people who showed up to FPS’ spring premiere last year, Tan said.

Prior to the screening of “Dilated,” two other short films will be showing. The first is “Noes Goes” by Brian Armstrong, a five-minute film which won an internal competition within the society. The latter is the sitcom “Off Campus,” a 20-minute comedic pilot about five very different roommates living off-campus for the first time and the drama that ensues.

In addition, the premiere will feature a 50-foot red carpet in the back of the ballroom where the attendees can have their pictures taken by photographers and leave their name and e-mail to have their pictures sent to them for free, Tan said.

Entertainment from other media, such as dance, will also take place before the screening of “Dilated,” and the location of an after party will be announced, as a celebration of both Cinco de Mayo and the film’s premiere.

Of the 1,000 people Tan said he hopes will come out to the premiere, roughly 100 to 250 of them will be very important people to the futures of some of the FPS members.

“A lot of us are graduating, so we’re using this as an avenue into the film industry as well,” Tan said. “We’ve invited all of these studios out and their top executives.”

According to Tan, the ambition of the filmmakers is to have their film enjoyed on a larger scale than as a part of student film alone.

“We don’t want to just be a good student film, we want to be a good film period,” Tan said. “We want to prove that student films are a force to be reckoned with, and a viable form of entertainment.”

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