I've created this page because I want to make a difference in the lives of aspiring filmmakers. As an Alumni and Professor of Communications & Media Studies at West Virginia State University, I know how difficult it can be to raise funds to make a movie, and I know how difficult it can be to raise awareness of the incredible amount of local talent that we have in West Virginia. We've secured permission from Stephen King to adapt his short story, THE WOMAN IN THE ROOM, as a departmental project with the goal of highlighting the talent and abilities of our students through a unique, immersive, hands-on production experience that could potentially be screened at film festivals around the world. Please help me help them by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button. Your donation goes directly to the WEST VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION, INC. and is tax-deductible; as per our agreement with Stephen King, this is a non-profit, non-commercial project, and any funds raised will be applied directly toward project expenses. If we're lucky enough to raise funds beyond our target, that money will be directly applied toward future departmental film projects; this film is the first in what will hopefully be a series of films produced by faculty and students of the Department of Communications & Media Studies at WVSU. Please spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it truly does mean a lot!
CONTINUING A LONG TRADITION OF FACULTY/STUDENT FILM PRODUCTION EXPERIENCES
The Department of Communications & Media Studies has a long tradition of providing unique, hands-on production experiences to our students. The Department produced a trilogy of feature films between 1988 and 1993, all produced by our faculty and students. From 1994 to 2013, the Department produced a diverse series of documentaries that have won numerous awards and screened at festivals and broadcast all over the world. We hope to continue this tradition with the production of THE WOMAN IN THE ROOM, based on the short story by Stephen King and produced with permission of the author.
ABOUT THE FILM
THE WOMAN IN THE ROOM is a story of memory and loss and the fragility of life. John Vance is dealing with the most difficult situation of his life as he copes with his mother’s terminal illness. Confronted by his mother’s pain and haunted by the nightmares from his past, John must finally decide if a son’s duty to his family is worth what it will ultimately cost. The story was originally published in 1978 in a short story anthology entitled NIGHT SHIFT.
WHAT MAKES THIS EXPERIENCE UNIQUE FOR OUR STUDENTS?
Two courses were created specifically for the production of this film: COMMUNICATIONS 399: STEPHEN KING PROJECT and MEDIA STUDIES 675: FILM PRODUCTION PLANNING & MANAGEMENT. In addition to working on an official adaptation of a work by one of the most acclaimed authors of our time, students earn course credit for their work. Additionally, students enrolled in COMMUNICATIONS 341: ADVANCED FILMMAKING will also work with film professionals and serve as members of the production crew during the actual shoot.
HOW ARE PRODUCTION COSTS KEPT SO LOW?
The budget of a film production - regardless of its size - is largely comprised of crew member salaries, equipment purchase and/or rental, and the rental of post-production facilities, to name but a few of the many line items necessary to bring such a collaborative effort to life. Fortunately, a lot of our overhead - equipment, facilities, and most of our faculty and student crew - is provided in-kind, and that keeps our costs low.
HOW WILL FUNDS BE USED?
We have approximately 20 people on our crew - both faculty and students - who will be shooting over a period of six days in April, 2016. Making sure our hardworking crew is fed is one of our top priorities, as a typical shooting day can last up to 12 hours, and an army travels on its stomach. Additionally, funds are needed to purchase costume items, props, expendable supplies for our camera and audio crew, and additional equipment - such as a small steadicam rig - to supplement our existing supply. As mentioned in my introduction, the project is entirely non-profit and noncommercial in nature, so every dollar raised will be put toward the production, and every item purchased for use in the production will be donated to the Department of Communications & Media Studies for the future use and enjoyment of students.
Funds are also needed to hire a professional audio mixer and recordist who will contract with us for the six days currently scheduled for the production, and the fees quoted apply to the rental of necessary audio equipment. This would greatly enhance the overall educational experience of everyone involved.
Lastly, funds will be needed to assist in finishing the film in post-production, and film festival entry fees will be needed as well.
INCENTIVES FOR GIVING
Aside from knowing that you're helping students gain a unique and valuable educational experience, donating to our project can also earn you a host of additional incentives and rewards:
$1 - Email updates and a hearty THANK YOU from all of us!
$5 - Your name will appear in the film's end credits under DONORS, as well as an email update.
$10 - A .PDF file of the film's shooting script, plus all previous incentives.
$20 - A hard-copy of the film's screenplay, plus all previous incentives.
$25 - A hard-copy of the script signed by the Director and Executive Producers, plus all previous incentives.
$40 - A copy of the film on DVD, plus all previous incentives.
$50 - A copy of the film on Blu-ray, plus all previous incentives.
$100 - A hard-copy of the script signed by the entire cast and crew and and reserved seating at the film's premiere, plus all previous incentives. Travel, food, and lodging not included.
$250 - Receive a unique 11x17 poster for the film signed by the entire cast and crew, and an invitation to a reception with cast and crew following the film's premiere, plus all previous incentives.
$500 - Receive an "Associate Producer" credit on the film and on iMDB, plus all previous incentives.
$1,000 - Receive a "Co-Producer" credit on the film, plus all previous incentives.
$3,000 - Receive an "Executive Producer" credit on the film, plus all previous incentives.
Also, as mentioned earlier, all donations to our project are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
WHERE WILL THE FILM BE SCREENED?
The film will have its World Premiere in late 2016 in the Charleston, WV area, and will be submitted to various film festivals around the world throughout 2017. As per our agreement with Stephen King's office, he will also receive a copy of the completed film.
KEY CREW - FACULTY
DAVID BROCK (Co-Executive Producer, Writer, and Director) is a native of southern West Virginia and a lifelong fan of the movies. He began writing and directing short films while pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications at West Virginia State University, and was able take advantage of the department’s educational filmmaking exchanges with the Allrussian Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, Russia and the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic. While working on his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film Production at Ohio University, Dave received permission from Stephen King to adapt his short story, THE ROAD VIRUS HEADS NORTH into a short film. In April, 2005, “Road Virus” won a regional Student Academy Award in the Narrative Category and was selected as a National Finalist by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, California. While working as an Assistant Professor at WVSU, he was also represented as a Writer/Director in Hollywood for nearly a decade.
ROGER ECHOLS (Co-Executive Producer and Cinematographer) is an award-winning communication specialist with nearly two decades of experience in integrated marketing, public relations, social media, writing, videography and editing. Echols brings a unique set of skills to the global communications arena. With a solid background in numerous facets of communications, his love of storytelling always takes main stage. Echols currently serves as videographer and editor for MotionMasters in Dunbar West Virginia. MotionMasters, a leading video production house for more than 25 years, has garnered accolades across the board: Telly awards for tourism and health care. Communicator awards and PRSA honors for educational videos and training films. The list goes on. Echols was also the National Public Health Information Coalition’s (NPHIC) Bronze and Silver Award Winner for Promotion materials for H1N1 awareness in West Virginia through a partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education. Production and videography work has taken Echols from the battlefields of the Civil War to the salmon filled rivers of Alaska and then all the way back home to WVSU his Alma Mater and the mountains of West Virginia searching for the infamous Bigfoot. He also spent several years working with lead education experts producing language learning materials for students as well as professional development materials for Fortune 500 companies such as Toyota Manufacturing and Dow Chemical. Echols earned his master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University.
ALI ZIYATI (Co-Executive Producer) earned his Ph.D. in Mass Communication (Ohio University) in 1995, Master of Arts in Telecommunications (Ohio University) in 1992, and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Institut Superieur de journalisme, Rabat, Morocco) in 1987. He is currently Professor in the department of Communication and Media Studies at West Virginia State University where he teaches Public Relations, Social Media, Integrated Marketing Communication, Research Methods, etc. Prior to joining WVSU in the Fall of 2011, Dr. Ziyati was Associate Professor at Marietta College, Marietta, OH (2007-2011). He also served as Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication and Public Relations at Ajman University in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He has also held teaching positions at the Institut Superieur de l’Information et de la Communication (ISIC), the International Institute of Higher Education in Morocco (IIHEM) and the Institute of Languages and Communication Studies (ILCS) in Rabat, Morocco. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Ohio University where he taught Public Speaking, Introduction to Mass Communication, Research Methods, and Intercultural Communication. He was also a visiting professor at Lock Haven (PA) University.
KEY CREW - STUDENTS
LACEY BAUMGARDNER grew up in Hawaii and joined the military to see the world. Through her travels she became active in historical reenactment and began making costumes and recreating other period items. When she became a student at West Virginia State University, her artistic interest naturally led her to the Communications department where she used her skills for stage and costume design. Moving from backstage to behind the scenes she is grateful to be part of another exciting project with so many talented people.
CHRIS FRANCIS is a Communications Major at West Virginia State University. His plans are to go to Grad School after his Undergraduate and then become a writer in film, television, or comic books. His primary goal is to help with the production and learn all he can about every aspect of making a movie.
QUENTIN MEADOWS is a Communications major at WVSU who has always loved movies and television. He became interested in film and television production in high school, while making you-tube videos with his friends.
TRINITY MULLINS is a student at West Virginia State University majoring in
Communications with a double focus in Filmmaking and Visual Media. In addition, she has minors in Art and English literature. She has worked on a variety of student film
productions as well as a few theatre productions at WVSU. After graduation, she plans to work in in advertising and on film sets as well as writing screenplays. While
becoming established in those businesses, she plans to be a substitute teacher.
MATTHEW SKEEN is a Communications Major currently in his Junior year. After graduating from WVSU, he plans on continuing his education towards an MFA in Film. Upon obtaining his Graduate degree, he will start finding his place in the film industry as a director/screenwriter, or further his studies to prepare for a career as a film professor.
AARON DAY is a filmmaker, editor, and director who has worked on numerous projects. His passion for directing evolved from his involvement in music as a DJ. As an editor he serves as the chief video editor for the West Virginia State University football team. He also has been involved with several music video projects across several genres, ranging from Hip Hop to Metal. He received his Bachelors in Communications with an emphasis in Media Studies in 2013, and is currently pursuing his MA in Media Studies at WVSU.
ADAM STRIKER is currently enrolled in West Virginia State University's Media Studies graduate program. Adam is an avid science fiction and horror fanatic and boasts a respectable collection of novels and movies. His expertise is video production. When not experimenting with his video cameras, Adam enjoys writing screenplays and stories in his spare time. He is also an enormous fan of tokusatsu, specifically Japanese giant monsters. Just don't ask him about his Godzilla figure collection--he'll talk your ear off!
JAMES TAYLOR is a graduate student at West Virginia State University currently pursuing a Master’s of Media Studies. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Communications and the General Education Departments. He received a B.A. in History with an international focus and a B.A. in International Relations from West Virginia State University. His current thesis pursues an investigation of resistance group media productions in the post-modern age.
WENDY TAYLOR is a graduate student in the Media Studies Program at West Virginia State University. While completing her thesis on Japanese Anime she is also working on a film adaptation of a Stephen King short story. In the last two years Wendy served on both the Department of Communications/ Media Studies Tower Awards Film Festival and the Media Summit Committees. Additionally, she has completed one year of national service to the greater West Virginia community as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, and currently serves as a member of the Association for Women in Communications.
WHEN IS THE FILM SCHEDULED TO SHOOT?
We are currently in active pre-production, and we are tentatively scheduled to go into production during the weekends of April 1 - 3 and April 15 - 17, 2016.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION!