Summer Film Production
Want to make a feature film? You can do just that through the SMU Summer Film Production!
WATCH: Behind-the-scenes of the 2011-13 Summer Film Production, All the Wrong Friends
What It Is
SMU students produce their own feature film on a biannual (every two years) cycle.
It's a chance to work with professional gear on a long-form project and really get a taste of what it's like to do production as a full-time job – instead of just shooting a day or two on a weekend, this is a full-blown, full-time, two-week shoot, often on location.
This is NOT an “interning for faculty” or “watch and learn from the professionals” project – the entire production is planned and crewed by SMUers. In particular, ALL crew heads (director, producers, cinematographer, production designer, editor, sound mixer, AD, gaffer, etc.) are current SMU students or recent alumni.
With shoots in alternate summers (hence "Summer Film Production"), if you’re at SMU for four years you’ll be around for at least two shoots.
Don't wait to wait for the summer to get involved? No problem! Despite what the name might imply, there's ALWAYS a “Summer Film Production” (or SFP) going on in one phase or another. Though the shoots happen over the summer, each SFP involves a year of prep ahead of time and a year of post-production afterwards sandwiching the shoot. So you can always find ways to get involved with the SFP - whether or not you take part in the summer shoot.
For updates, follow @SMUSummerFilm on Twitter; if you have questions or want more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, which has answers to just about everything else you'd want to know about the SFP. And if you still can't find what you're looking for, contact us at SMUSummerFilm@gmail.com and we'll get back to you.
(By the way, YES, accepted students who will be starting at SMU in the fall are welcome to join the SFP as soon as they’ve committed to SMU, including submitting scripts, helping with pre- and post-production, or even crewing on the shoot itself!)
Current / Upcoming Project:
Delirium (2013-15 SFP, now in pre-production for a Summer 2014 shoot)
(Feature, psychological thriller)
writer: Esther Tshibangu (SMU Film B.A. anticipated 2013)
Applications for directing/producing teams are now being accepted; the deadline is October 31st, 2013. Interested students can find details on the application and selection process here Acting and Crewing information.
Ongoing / Recent Project
All the Wrong Friends (2011-13 SFP, expected to premiere late 2013 / early 2014)
(Feature, dark comedy / suspense)
As the first feature-length Summer Film Production, All the Wrong Friends was an ambitious project, aiming to shoot 120 pages in 12 days. Thirty-one hardy filmmakers and actors headed up north to the Texas/Oklahoma border for a 10-day location shoot (the last two days were shot around Dallas) and managed to wrap it all up half a day early. The film is currently in post-production and is expected to premiere in 2013, shortly before the 2013-15 Summer Film Project begins pre-production.
(ATWF trailer coming fall 2013!)
The Dread Factory (2010-12 SFP)
(40-minute short, supernatural horror film)
The Dread Factory, the inaugural summer film production, was made almost on a whim; at the time, SMU happened to own an abandoned bread factory that was about to be demolished, and a group of Meadows students decided to shoot a horror film in the creepy old building before it was torn down. In a quick four-month span, they came up with a story, wrote a script, found a cast and crew, and shot the movie. The process was so much fun that they decided to shoot something again the next summer – and thus the SMU Summer Film Production was born.