premieres his first feature film in Chicago
calls filmmaking 'a great learning experience'
(November 2006) Back when he was at Madison
Consolidated High School, Josh Bear and his friends would spend hours
creating films in the art department. Bear was fascinated with filmmaking
but ended up in Sarasota, Fla., where he studied at the Ringling School
of Art and Design and received a bachelors degree in illustration.
It was years later while working in Chicago as a video game designer
for High Voltage Software that Bear, 27, would once again return to
his passion for filmmaking. Bears independent film The Dorm
Room, by Zero Hero Productions, will have its world premiere and
pre-show reception at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Pickwick Theater in Park
Ridge, Ill., a suburb in Chicago. Refreshments will be provided by Dominos
Pizza. Tickets for the show and reception are $12.
Dorm Room is about
Bear read a script written by a friend, David A. Rodriguez,
that he thought would be perfect for making into an independent film.
He acknowledged he needed to keep the audiences attention; the
script had to be good if the entire 1 1/2-hour movie was to take place
in the same spot. I thought this particular script would fit my
needs perfectly, he said.
He also realized he needed to keep the film simple because of financial
reasons, so he decided the one-setting script would work out wonderfully.
Bear self-financed the entire production, which had a budget of just
The movie was filmed in a tiny apartment in Rockford, Ill., that the
crew transformed into a dorm room. It took about one month of constant
filming to complete the entire script.
The entire production crew and cast worked long hours at other
jobs, so we filmed at night and on every weekend to get finished,
He added he was shocked that it took nearly two years to completely
finish the entire film. I didnt realize the process would
take so long, but it is a huge task to put it all together.
In addition to editing the 20 hours of footage, Bear had to find someone
to compose the music and then produce the sound track. It was
a great learning experience and loads of fun.
There are eight characters in The Dorm Room, including two
main characters and a comic relief guy. Rodriguez plays Alex,
Lewis Harris II plays Charlie, while Cef Grima plays the
funny man, Richie.
In the movie, Charlie and Alex are two womanizing college
roommates who appear to be having a bad day. The film deals with the
typical problems that most college students have to deal with at some
point: kicking the freeloading Richie out of the room, finding a lost
phone that wont quit ringing and finding a girlfriend for another
naïve friend. Things go badly, however, when Alex decides to change
his womanizing ways and suddenly realizes he doesnt like how Charlie
Although the movie is simply about the relationships between a
group of friends, it is very entertaining, Bear said.
In a recent career move, Bear quit his job in Chicago and relocated
back to Madison to form his own software company, Twisted Pixel Games.
Two other company owners, Mike Wilford and Frank Wilson, both from Chicago,
have also moved to Madison.
Madison is familiar to me, and it is the perfect place for a small
company to start out, he said.
Twisted Pixel Games is in pre-production development of several video
games that will be available on the future generation of video consoles,
including Microsofts Xbox 360, Sonys Playstation 3 and Nintendos
In addition, Bear said the company is working on delivering top quality
games through a new video game model, which is digital distribution
through the Internet onto the video game machine. There are already
some lower quality games using the new model of distribution, but we
plan to bring top notch, very competitive games to the public,
To read more about Josh Bears film,
The Dorm Room, visit: www.dormroommovie.com.
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