Swan Song Summer
Update October 15, 2013: Faculty Spotlight
The Chicago area has increasingly become a hub of blockbuster on-location filmmaking in recent years with the Transformers series and Dark Knight among the more notable. On the flip side, it’s a historically busy time for low budget films in production in the Midwest giving Columbia College Chicago students, alumni, faculty, and staff more opportunities to work on movie sets.
Most of the summer, key crew from the Cinema Art + Science department have been busy working on the feature length film Swan Song, shooting in Indiana and Michigan, by legendary director and adjunct faculty member John Hancock whose credits include Bang the Drum Slowly, Weeds, and Prancer.
Faculty member Doreen Bartoni and Columbia College Chair Emeritus Allen Turner are co-producers. “It’s great to see what is happening in front of the camera being mirrored behind the camera as seasoned professionals are working with recent alumni and current students to teach them everything they know about filmmaking,” shares Bartoni. Chair of Cinema Art + Science Bruce Sheridan provided creative consulting on the project.
Swan Song is about a grandmother who wants to desperately connect with her granddaughter in a meaningful way and share her history. The script by Dorothy Tristan revolves around the younger generation learning from the older generation, where the grandmother inspires her granddaughter to audition for a stage production of Alice in Wonderland. The granddaughter, through the play and especially her grandmother, begin a journey from which she emerges stronger than ever.
The on-location shoot wrapped principal photography in mid-August. Bartoni says the plans are to enter the film into festivals for potential distribution deals.
The film production has already garnered press and television coverage including the award-winning television program "190 North" showcasing the hippest, trendiest lifestyles and entertainment stories around Chicagoland. Janet Davies visited the set of Swan Song and interviewed cast and crew including Script Supervisor Cara Lawson ('13). "Perfect experience to sit right next to John," said Lawson.