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

April 14, 2009

 After months of planning, filming and postproduction, Ball State University and Clothespin Films' first professionally produced commercial film is ready for its first screening. And the audience will play a key role in the movie-making experience.

As a way of thanking all of the hometown residents who helped with the production, "My Name is Jerry" will have its first big-screen test on May 7 at the Muncie Convention Center. Doug Jones, the Ball State alumnus who plays the starring role, will attend the screening. Jones has starred in the Academy Award-winning "Pan's Labyrinth," "The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army."

Other stars attending the screening include Ball State alumni Morgan Mead, the director, and David Hamilton, the writer.

"Seeing Doug, Morgan and David coming back to support the university and the community and working side by side with our students reflects the essence of Ball State's immersive learning experiences," said Rodger Smith, director of Ball State's Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education (IDEE) and "Jerry's" executive producer. "Without their commitment and the generous help of Ball State and the Muncie community, this project would never have taken off."

The screening, which is being co-sponsored by M Magazine as part of the publication's first anniversary celebration, will take place at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at the"Jerry" ticket Web site or the IDEE office at 301 S. Walnut, suite 102. For those interested in attending the VIP reception before the movie, tickets are $35 and will include hors d'oeuvres and refreshments beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The information gathered from the screening is crucial, Smith explained. With "Jerry" being 90 percent finished, people attending the screening will gauge how the film plays on the big screen and help tweak the last 10 percent.

The movie follows Jerry Arthur, a door-to-door salesman stuck in the rut of everyday life. The middle-aged divorcee has a daughter he hasn't spoken to in years, a dead-end job and low self-esteem. But when he encounters the right mix of punk rock mentality and a few unique friends, he gets a rare chance to reinvent himself and start living again.

Also starring in the film are Don Stark ("That 70s Show"), Catherine Hicks ("7th Heaven") and Allison Scaggliotti ("Drake and Josh"). Rounding out the cast are Katlyn Carlson, Levi Holloway, Steven Yuen, Jonathan Keaton and Joshua Breit.

The film is sponsored by Ball State, the Center for Media Design, IDEE, the College of Fine Arts and a group of independent investors. It was shot in Muncie last summer. "Jerry" was one of the university's most intense immersive learning experiences with more than 50 students working on the set, assisting with production and using emerging media to promote the film.