Former GW student premieres film

GW graduate Glenn Friedel will now be able to add “film director” to his resum?, thanks to a strong network of GW friends.

Friedel’s film, underdogs, premiered at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival at Planet Hollywood Sept. 18.

Finishing his master’s degree in film/fine arts at American University, Friedel created a 101-minute feature film for his senior thesis.

The idea for underdogs was “building inside for a couple of years,” Friedel said. But he said he didn’t understand the idea completely until the script was finished.

“I wanted to make a movie my friends and I would watch,” he said.

Friedel began the writing process about a year and a half ago. He took two weeks to complete a detailed outline that provided a basic layout of the scenes and plot, he said. An additional four to five days were needed to fill-in the dialogue.

The movie was filmed in July and August of 1998 during a five-and-a-half week period, and Friedel spent the past year editing and fine tuning the footage.

The only major difficulty the production team encountered was filming the scenes for the lead actress from Los Angeles, who was running on a tight time schedule that only allowed her eight days to complete her scenes.

“We had an amazing crew,” Friedel said.

Friedel said he received the breaks he needed to produce his film through the GW electronic media department network. A friend and fellow GW graduate, John Schwartz, helped Friedel with his New York film industry contacts.

The film was sent to Chris Peterson, another GW graduate and one of Friedel’s former roommates, who is an associate producer for E! Entertainment Television Network.

Several graduates from the electronic media program are associate producers at MSNBC and are working with the producers and writers at the “Drew Carey Show.” Recent graduate Margaret Jacobs is working as a production assistant on an upcoming movie starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder.

Though his contacts from GW aided in publicizing Friedel’s project, there is still much work to be done, he said. The goal is to “try and get a local buzz going,” Friedel said.

The process of working out a showing of underdogs at GW is still ongoing.

“Making the film was the easy part,” he said. “Trying to sell the film and your idea is more nerve-racking.”

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