Summer Film Series “Realizism” wraps up filming

	<p>Grand Valley State University film and video production majors work with the camera on the set of this years’ <span class=GVSU Summer Film Series short film, “Realizism” while director, writer and GVSU alumnus Mitch Nyberg watches over them.

" class="catboxphoto" />

Grand Valley State University film and video production majors work with the camera on the set of this years’ GVSU Summer Film Series short film, “Realizism” while director, writer and GVSU alumnus Mitch Nyberg watches over them.

Anya Zentmeyer

Grand Valley State University’s School of Communications wrapped up filming for their 18th annual Summer Film Project, with nearly 30 film and video majors working with industry professionals in the production this year’s title: “Realizism.”

Written and directed by 1983 GVSU alumnus Mitch Nyberg, “Realizism” follows the downward spiral of main character, Jake Stemple, on his odyssey through unemployment, foreclosure, loss of identity and then, Nyberg said, rebirth.

“I know personally – first-hand, not only friends and family who have gone through these situations – unemployment, foreclosure, loss of identity,” Nyberg said. “Not everybody comes out of it like Jake Stemple at the end of the film. It’s how you deal with adversity that matters and is important.”

The movie is a black comedy – a sad story with hints of hilarity sprinkled throughout. Joe Anderson, a full-time actor and comedian who lives in Grand Rapids, plays Stemple and said he relates to the “depressing hero” – on some level, he thinks, everyone does.

“I feel like anyone, no matter how old they are, they probably had some tragedy in their life at whatever age they are it feels like the craziest thing that could ever happen to them,” he said.

Though the film will only be 30-minutes long, the work is much more grueling. In fact, Nyberg said one of the most difficult parts for students is grappling with the intensity of the 10- or 12-hour days that filming calls for.

For GVSU senior Jess Kean, however, getting used to the rigor of the film industry is part of what makes the experience real.

“I learned more this summer than I have in three years of film school,” said Kean, who is participating in the Summer Film Series for the second year in a row.

Kean said after watching Jurassic Park in high school, the movie initially made her want to be a dinosaur scientist. And though she never did become a dinosaur scientist, she did become a film and video major – because if a movie made her want to do something like that, then she decided she wanted to do something with movies.

“(The film and video program) is actually the main reason I’m at Grand Valley,” she said.

Now that filming is over, post-production work will start in the fall and all culminate in April, when “Realizism” is expected to premiere, though the details on the location of the screening are still being determined.

Nyberg, who was part of the GVSU Summer Film Series in 1995 when the program was only in its second year, said that since then, it’s only gotten better. This particular group, he said, is a good one.

“This particular group of students work extremely well together,” Nyberg said. “We’re able to solve problems on the fly and I saw a lot of team comradely, which is really important.”

[email protected] _