It's the kind of summer camp a lot of aspiring filmmakers would dream of attending, a place where you can network with students from other schools, combine your talents and create a movie in the space of a few weeks. That fantasy is about to become reality for a group of students from Michigan State University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan this summer.

The three universities are collaborating on what MSU senior video specialist and documentary filmmaker Robert Albers calls "an immersion � a deep immersion � into the filmmaking process." This summer, selected students from the film programs at MSU, WSU and U of M will be responsible for putting together a short film. The participants will handle everything from pre-production planning to technical set-ups, cinematography, editing and post-production work.

It's "a pilot program for what we hope will be an ongoing summer film institute," said Charles Steinfield, professor and chair in the MSU department of telecommunications, information studies and media. It's also part of what Steinfield sees as filling a need in the state to "create an indigenous film industry."�

Thanks to generous tax incentives being offered to out-of-state filmmakers, Michigan has seen a boom in film production in the last few years. Now, Steinfield and Albers agree, it's time to begin focusing on home-grown projects.

That way, film students looking for production experience would not have to wait for Hollywood to drop by. "It's about developing a Michigan film family," Albers said. "That way, the kids who leave here to go to Hollywood to write scripts or make movies wouldn't have to leave."

The project is still in the works, but Steinfield said a student-penned script should be chosen "by early May."

More on this in Wednesday's Screening Room column.�

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