A Novel Approach To Filmmaking


The Stony Brook Southampton Arts program recently came one step closer to its goal of establishing a graduate program in film.

The Southampton Arts Summer program, which will be held from July 10 through July 28, will introduce a new component this year, a “20/20/20” immersive film program led by Christine Vachon of Killer Films. The program, which will task 20 filmmakers with making 20 films in 20 days, will be held in partnership with the 18th annual Stony Brook Film Festival at the Staller Center for the Arts in Stony Brook, which will screen July 18 through July 27.

The news was shared on Friday, June 14, during a press conference at the Stony Brook Southampton windmill by Bob Reeves, associate provost of the Stony Brook Southampton Graduate Arts Campus, and Alan Inkles, founder and director of the Stony Brook Film Festival.

“Alan knows films and we’re going to try to make them,” said Mr. Reeves. “It is a very good match for our community.”

The 20/20/20 approach will be “the future of film,” Mr. Reeves continued. “Not asking for permission” but just making short films without big studio involvement. He reported that the 20 filmmakers who have already been selected to participate in the inaugural program have been awarded full scholarships. Going forward, the school will offer affordable programs for all who are accepted.

The primary requirement for admission, according to Mr. Reeves, will be having “something to say, the desire to say it visually and the willingness to work around the clock for 20 days to do so.”

The novel approach is already being met with enthusiasm.

“This is going to be the incubator for film,” said film, theater and radio producer, Kathy Russo, who also manages advancement and special events at Stony Brook Southampton.

The 20/20/20 program, as organized by Magdalene Brandeis of Stony Brook University, will break down roughly into thirds. The filmmakers will be taken through a three-phase “boot camp” that will consist of pre-production and screenplay development; shooting the film and post-production, which will consist of editing, mixing and scoring the films. The program will culminate in a 20/20/20 film festival at Stony Brook Southampton, which will be screened for the students, Ms. Vachon and members of the Killer Films team.

The filmmaking spots for this year’s program have all been filled, but there are still opportunities available for actors, according to Ms. Brandeis. Casting is being handled locally by Kate Mueth. Shoot dates will be July 15 through July 21 and headshot submissions are being accepted now. Those interested should email Kate at gladmueth@aol.com.

For his part, Mr. Inkles said that he’s enthusiastically looking forward to a long and productive relationship with the Southampton campus. Finding a way to collaborate with Mr. Reeves has been on his agenda for years, he said.

“As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I said, ‘I’m hooked,’” he said.

Though this year’s 20/20/20 films will not be shown at the festival, filmmakers and other Southampton Arts Summer program participants have been invited to attend. Ms. Vachon will be awarded a Career Achievement Award, on July 26, and her film “Deep Powder” will screen that night.

The mission of the Southampton Arts graduate program in creative writing, theater and film is to foster exploration of artistic expression in fields outside the borders of traditional programs and to promote collaboration between disciplines in the creation of original work, according to information provided by Stony Brook. For additional information, visit southamptonarts.org.

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