Filming on “Vengaza Azteca” to begin on campus
Legendary masked Mexican film star Mil Mascaras returns to Columbia and the MU campus next week for a third student and faculty produced feature film, thanks to a grant from MU’s Interdisciplinary Innovations Fund. Two previous films, “Mil Mascaras: Resurrection” and “Academy of Doom,” were produced by the College of Engineering’s IT program. The first has completed an award-winning run on the festival circuit and will enter theatrical release later this month, and the second is tentatively scheduled to enter theatrical release sometime this summer.
MU’s FilmTech Experience project is a collaborative effort between the Film Studies and Computer Science Departments, with cooperation from several additional departments on campus. Collaborative partners will begin filming “Vengaza Azteca” on April 6th, and will continue shooting six days a week through the first week in May.
Pre-production on art, set wardrobe design and production, plus script revision and dialogue, have been ongoing in the Textile and Apparel Management, Art, and Film Studies Departments since the semester began. The College of Engineering’s IT program is contributing graphic imaging and special effects, as well as other technical and production skills.
Jeffrey Uhlmann, an associate professor in computer science, wrote the script for the film and will be responsible overall for shepherding it through the post-production phase of distribution. Aaron Crozier, an instructor in film studies, will serve as director and editor. Brendan Burke, an audio/television production technician with film studies, is the cinematographer, and graduate student in MU’s Music Department, Anthony Hernadez, will score the film. IT Director Dale Musser is serving as technical director, and along with Uhlmann, is responsible for new and innovative SLR digital cinematography techniques, as well as equipment procurement, that will save thousands of dollars in rental fees.
The raw footage will be available to IT audio, video and special effects classes for use in class projects such as the production of film trailers. Bob Swope, a resident IT audio and video instructor, said having access to raw footage and sound tracks is rare in a classroom setting and adds a professional dimension to the college’s entertainment engineering classes.
“Vengaza” is a sequel to “Resurrection” and the storyline involves the theft of valuable Aztec artifacts from a university research building. Casting calls took place in February, and MU students and faculty, as well as members from the Columbia community will appear in the film, though there is still a need for extras. If you are interested, please contact Robb McCleary, second assistant director at firstname.lastname@example.org.