USC - Assistant professor, School of Theater

Turned his own film project into a unique student-run collaboration.

When 31-year-old USC theater professor Fletcher finished his latest screenplay, rather than sell it to a production company, he decided to gather the talents and resources of his students and make the feature together. With the film backed by a grant from Panavision, Fletcher’s project — a psychological-political thriller about U.S. airmen called “S.E.R.E.” — will allow students to participate in the entire process: pre-production, casting, production, post and distribution.

To realize his vision, Fletcher reached out to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he gathered his producing team and most of his crew as well as the support and facilities of the school. He cast several theater students in leading roles (including Nick Thurston, who got his agent at CAA based on his performance) and shot the entire film in just nine days last summer on a $50,000 budget.

The team plans an equally inventive distribution strategy, using the USC student-created KLM Marketing company, which specializes in viral strategies to target audiences through outlets like MySpace, Facebook and YouTube.

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