by Matt Gregory
A Rochester Institute of Technology student is shooting a film in Rochester with the same type of camera used on hit films such as Skyfall and The Avengers.
So far, Ben Disinger, a fourth-year fine arts film major in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, has spent several hundred hours on the film, called Dust, which is his project for his senior thesis. In addition to the responsibilities of writing and directing the film, he has had to secure funding and manage a multi-disciplinary team of students—all while keeping track of the work for his courses. Dust is being crowd-funded entirely on Kickstarter.com and donations will be accepted through Dec. 23.
Disinger, who went to high school in El Paso, Texas, says that his film is much more than just a school project, however. “This movie uses top-of-the-line cameras, equipment and actors. It’s run in the same way the production of any Hollywood film would operate.”
In fact, Arri, the world’s largest supplier of film equipment, was so impressed with Disinger’s previous work, that the company decided to sponsor him by donating the rental of its finest camera, the Alexa Plus. This is the same camera model used in the filming of numerous Hollywood productions. Dust has also received the support of Revell, in the form of the donation of two-dozen model airplanes that the main character works on during the film.
Dust is the story of an aging fighter pilot, Julius (George Sander), learning to cope with the death of his wife. He has to deal with isolation and trying to reconnect with his estranged son, Chris (Sam Fisher). He eventually finds perspective, and is able to learn more about himself through a 7-year-old girl, Emma (Lea Mancarella). The topic is one that Disinger can relate to—his father is a 30-year Army veteran.
“Dust is a feel-good story about overcoming your pride and about being young at heart no matter how old you are,” says Disinger. “It’s about family. It’s not the kind of story you’d expect from college students and it’s not the kind of film that we have enough of in this day and age.”
Disinger is no stranger to impressing people in the entertainment industry. Last year, he approached the band Manchester Orchestra with a rough cut of a video he had made to go along with the band’s song “Virgin.” They liked his video so much, that they made it the official music video for the song, and it was broadcast on outlets such as Fuse and MTVU.
Dust is filmed entirely in Rochester. Disinger chose to keep the film local because he feels that it is a good way to represent the RIT and Rochester communities.
“I want people to be able to look at this film and say, ‘Look at the great things that come out of RIT, out of Rochester,’” he says.
To donate to the project, go to Kickstarter.com.
To follow updates on the progress of Dust, like it on Facebook.