FilmschoolSF Grads Work On Feature Film

January 21, 2011
San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking

The point of going to film school is to make movies and work in the business. After powering through hours of class and endless days on set learning the basics, it’s nice to know that when you leave FilmschoolSF that you have the skills to go directly to working on a feature film. Recently, a large number of past, current and future FilmschoolSF students worked together on a feature film titled “US“.

We’re not certain but we believe that this is the biggest non-FilmschoolSF project to ever pack in so many FilmschoolSF students and alumni.

Bay Area entertainment portal StarkInsider picked up the story:

Local filmmakers Sam Hancock of Umbrage Entertainment and Michael Navarra of 3½ EGOS Productions, have assembled a cast and crew consisting of many of the Bay Area’s finest talent for their first feature film Us. Principal Photography begins November 20th, 2010, and will be completed by December 16th, 2010.

Us was selected as a semi-finalist in the Slamdance 2010 Screenwriting Competition. It is a dark, gritty, romantic drama about a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities), who struggles to find love while battling self-destructive impulses that threaten to end her life. Written in conjunction with leading Bay Area psychologist Dr. Matthew McKay (co-founder of New Harbinger Publications and author of over 30 non-fiction books on mental health), Us endeavors to get behind the myths and misconceptions and tell an honest story about the challenges of living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. More…


We asked Producer/Assistant Director Keren Hantman about the shoot.

“For me the most challenging part was 1st ADing such a relatively big crew. This is my 2nd feature working as 1st AD and I’v ADed lots of shorts, but this was the first time I had to manage a 25 people crew. There were some moments of frustration, but what’s great about working on a 20 days shoot is that there’s enough time… By the 2nd half of the shoot it felt like conducting a very well trained orchestra. Everyone was playing their instruments in unison and perfect harmony. We had a highly professional crew and I would love to work again we some of these peeps.

The greatest thing about working with the school’s alumni is that we all know and feel comfortable with each other. So when those stressful, tense moments that naturally arise when working on a shoot come along, we can offer strength and support to one another… and many moments of laughter… We’ve formed a strong, creative and supporting community of filmmakers.”


Victoria Ponce (Class 3) – Producer
Keren Hantman (Class 7) Producer – Assistant Director
Tyler Kowalski (Class Eight) – Production Designer
Harmony Nichol (Class 7) – Art Director
Staci Degagne (Class 3) – Editor/DIT
Heather MacLean (Class 4) – Location Manager and Associate Producer
Dave Malloure (Class 10) – Grip
Alix Holsten – PA
Tim Huls (5-Week Workshop) – Production Coordinator
Ariane Wu (Class 13) – 2nd AD
Anthony Bonaparte (Class 11) – Assistant Editor + Grip
Beltran Luque (Class 10 – Grip
Peter Lee (Class 10) – Grip
Ryan Gomez – Grip

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