While other students relaxed during Winter Break, senior and former DTH photographer Nick Bafia and sophomore Julia Stamey were working on a film project they hope will win "Best Original Musical" at the Academy Awards in 2020.
They said they got the idea after a guest speaker in a class they shared told his story about trying to do the same. He wasn’t successful, but Bafia and Stamey decided to give it a try themselves.
“Nick and I are sitting there listening to (the guest speaker) and hearing that he failed and we’re still like, ‘Bet,'” Stamey said.
Bafia said they chose to submit to the Best Original Musical category because it is a niche category with very specific guidelines that rarely receives submissions. He said the few films that do qualify for the category, such as "La La Land," go for the "Best Picture" category.
Stamey said the biggest challenge they face now is getting other schools involved. In order for the category to be activated, a certain amount of films needs to be submitted. She said she and Bafia reached out to other schools over break.
Bafia said so far they have interested people from Georgia Institute of Technology, East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Bafia said the next steps in the process will be to continue to workshop the script and begin shooting in February. He said they plan to shoot from February to May and be finished with post-production in August.
Bafia-Stamey Productions will be holding auditions for their film, currently titled Fix, next week. They will also be launching a Kickstarter to help raise money for the project.
The Bafia-Stamey Productions team includes students from UNC Student Television, Carolina Film Association, UNC Pauper Players, Company Carolina and more.
Matthew Keith, the head writer, is on the executive board of Pauper Players. Keith wrote the outline that would become the film’s script.
Keith said he wrote the outline the summer before his senior year of high school. He said it was originally intended to be a stage musical. With the help of the rest of the BSP writing team, it was tweaked, updated and transferred to a film format.
“It’s been really fun taking what was at first kind of a bare-bones idea and filling it out and bringing it to life for the screen,” Keith said.
Sara Cook, one of the composers for the film, said she found out about the project through the general interest meeting.
Cook and her fellow composer, Kri Schafer, said they worked on the music over break, exchanging texts and sharing files back and forth.
“It’s so cool because everyone’s part of the process,” Cook said.
Will Leitch, the director, also said it’s great seeing all of these artistic communities collaborate.
“The amount of crossover between theater and writers and film people right now — it’s so great and it’s really tying together a lot of our communities, which I love,” Leitch said. “I think outside of the fact that we’re gonna win an Oscar, the fact that we’re really bridging some artistic gaps I think is just so cool.”
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