Zero Thumbs Productions, a student-run production company that makes films to initiate social change, will begin filming their first picture this August in Lansing.
Written and directed by MSU student Keenan Wetzel, “Cager” is a true blue Lansing film and stars former Michigan State University basketball player Delvon Roe.
Where the idea came from:
Keenan is hoping that with the creation of the company he can eventually expand and hire other creative people or team up with other production companies for joint projects.
Problem he is trying to solve:
Keenan wants to see more quality, independent films that are directed at social change made in Michigan. At the moment, he thinks, this is not a genre getting a lot of attention. He would like to see/make more films with a strong meaning and message.
“Studios have a tougher time making films with that message,” he says, “They stick with action and worry about the box office.” He is excited to make films that focus more on touching the audience with human emotion.
Right now, his biggest challenge has been deciding what projects to take on. He’s had to find a balance between work that is just work, and work that centers around his ultimate goal.
So far he’s decided he will put all his efforts into the creative side of things. He’s decided to worry less about the monetary side and focus on building his portfolio and making high quality films.
Keenan had been surprised to realize just how quickly you can make a quality film. With so many advancements in technology and film equipment, there are many aspects of filming that go faster than ever before. Quality equipment is becoming much more affordable and the number of people that want to work in films is growing, making it easier to find help. “You can really make it happen,” says Keenan.
Keenan is gaining funding for his film and studio through many different avenues. There is a Kickstarter Campaign in place to help shoot “Cager” and he’s also put a lot of calls out for corporate and private sponsors.
Keenan wants other entrepreneurs to, “Start as early as you can even if you are in school. Go do it now.” He also says to ask questions and ask for help. People are always willing to help but, “if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.”
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