Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, College of Fine Arts, Immersive Learning

February 13, 2008

Grove Lake
Ball State University will premiere a student-produced movie in high definition this spring in Indianapolis.

Ball State students wrote, acted in and produced the film "Grove Lake," which takes place in the fictional town of the same name. Painter Mandy Donovan, played by Muncie-based actress Wanita Spence, has been out of the art world for 30 years when she resurfaces. Chicago reporter Diane Butler, played by Ball State student Emily Nejad, arrives to track down Donovan. While not fond of small-town life, Butler gradually comes to appreciate Grove Lake, its people and its values.

Production of "Grove Lake" took place between spring and fall semesters of 2007. The 82-minute film will premiere at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum at 7:30 p.m. on March 22. Tickets cost $20. To purchase, call 317-233-4629; IMAX will also have an online order form soon.

"It's giving students the opportunity to work on a project from beginning to end," said Tim Pollard, associate professor of telecommunications. "We emphasize the entire process."

"Grove Lake" is the fourth film project of its kind, an immersive learning collaboration between the College of Communication, Information, and Media and the College of Fine Arts. It was filmed around Muncie, with local businesses volunteering to appear in the movie and the city's reservoir acting as the fictional lake.

"It's a way of promoting Indiana as a place where you can do film," Pollard said.

About 120 people, including actors and production staff, got real-world experience making a film. Writing took place in the spring, with filming in the summer and postproduction work in the fall. Telecommunications students did video and audio postproduction work as part of their courses.

"It's not just taking a camera out and doing whatever you want - it's doing it the way the industry does it," Pollard said. "We're getting a level of student who wants to do this for a living."

For more information, call Tim Pollard at 765-285-1481 or visit

By Alaric DeArment