By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer
One student’s cinematic ambitions boosted his latest work to the professional level.
Ty Fanning, acting junior, is in the production process for his original screenplay entitled Josephine. The film focuses on a woman’s struggle to decide between love and pursuing art.
“It’s about understanding art and relationships with other people,” he said. “Deciding what you can fit into your life and whether you can have both.”
Fanning said he hopes to gain a better understanding of how to tell a story and that audiences will grasp the film’s message.
“I think it especially speaks to artists,” he said. “I think a lot of times you have to make choices in life.”
Fanning started working on the project during his freshman year of college. He said he based it off of the song “Ghost Town” by First Aid Kit, but really was inspired by his own life.
“The idea has come from myself as an actor and as an author,” he said.
Dillon Horner, acting junior, who has worked with Fanning on past projects, said Fanning had the idea “rattling” in his head for more than a year and is ready to translate it onto film.
“He’s phenomenal,” he said. “When he gets an idea in his head that’s what comes out.”
Pre-production began last fall after two years of having the story in his head, Fanning said. What started as a low-budget film, thought to be completed in a month, soon turned into something else.
The movie became a full production with the aid of individuals in Oklahoma’s film industry, Fanning said.
“The original idea was just to shoot it with $100,” he said. “It kind of turned into something a lot bigger than it started out to be.”
Fanning shot a promotional video explaining the story of Josephine to raise more funds for the production. The video, with the help of private donations and a Student Government Association $200 allotment, helped Fanning and his crew’s funding go from $100 to $4,000.
The money will go toward renting the crew’s equipment and paying professionals involved in the production, Fanning said.
“Most of the actors are hired professionals around Oklahoma and Oklahoma City,” he said.
Fanning is directing the film independently of the university with the help of several big names in Oklahoma film, such as Chris Freihofer, an Oklahoma casting director and entertainment professional.
He also is working with university alumnus Nathan Gardocki and his production company, Nathan Gardocki Productions.
“I wanted to get the idea of what it’s like to work in a controlled environment with a high-quality production,” he said.
Fanning will enter Josephine into film festivals following the film’s expected completion date at the end of summer.
“I want to make a good movie and from then on see how it does,” he said.
Fanning, who has written and directed two other films prior to Josephine, said he plans to move to Los Angeles after graduating in December. He wanted to experience some of the reality of the film industry with Josephine before entering the real world.
“That’s why I did it now,” he said.