Mont Alto Film Project gets under way

A group of students at Penn State Mont Alto will begin producing a full-length motion picture this fall. The Mont Alto Film Project is a 12-credit practicum in filmmaking offered over four semesters (two academic years).

“The Film Project is an opportunity for students to be directly involved in film production, from conception to completion,” said Kevin Boon, the professor who first envisioned the project nine years ago when he realized that advances in technology had drastically reduced the cost of film production.

The goal of the project is for students to produce a full-length documentary or feature film.

“In a best case scenario,” Boon said, “the end result will be a watchable film suitable for film festivals. In a worst-case scenario, students learn a great deal about the difficulties inherent in producing a full-length film. In either case, students get a hands-on educational experience.” Boon said he knows of no other college or university that provides this type of opportunity to students. “It’s the fact that the students get to make a full-length film of their own design that is unique,” he said.

So far, 13 students are enrolled in the project, but Boon said he has already begun to hear from Penn State staff and alumni who want to be involved, too.

“I originally saw the Film Project as a way of not only involving students, but involving the campus, the University, and the local community,” Boon said.

The Mont Alto Film Project is divided into four parts: During the first semester, students decide on a documentary or a feature film and hash out creative ideas until they have a workable script. During the second semester, they will engage in pre-production activities, such as location scouting, casting and storyboarding. During the third semester, they will complete principle photography.  During the final semester, they will be involved in post-production activities, such as editing, looping, and sound engineering.

Contacts: 
Last Updated August 25, 2009