Sophomore Wears Number of Hats in Original Film, “Indy Push”

SARAH STOESZ | Staff Reporter

A new film, “Indy Push,” will premiere on campus at the end of the semester.

Sophomore Jeff Stanich wrote, directed, produced and starred in “Indy Push.” Stanich is a journalism and English double major.

“I started writing it in December because I started doing video and I’ve loved writing, so I was like, ‘Why not combine the two?’” he said.

The main characters in “Indy Push” are Bucca and Meatball.  Stanich stars as Bucca, and sophomore Mike Giacopelli is Meatball.

They are financially struggling kids on scholarship at a private college who find a way to make a little money on the side, Stanich said.

“They are from Italian descent, so they want to be mafia mobsters,” he said. “They start stealing and selling off test scores and hustling private school kids out of their daddy’s money and taking it for themselves by using their smarts.”

Stanich said he was inspired by the movies “Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle.” He started writing “Indy Push” over winter break and finished it in January.  He raised money in order to produce the film.

“I started a Kickstarter to see if I could start raising money online, thinking I would raise about $75 to $80,” Stanich said.

Through in-person and mail donations, he raised $750.

Stanich has spent more than 150 hours on his debut film.

“I am up till 5 a.m. a lot in the Fairbanks Building,” he said. “I taught myself how to use Final Cut Pro, how to use a camera and how to record sound, so it’s all new to me.”

Stanich said he taught himself using the resources at Butler University. He rented much of this equipment from Fairbanks. However, Butler does not have a film program.

“Even though Butler doesn’t have much film practice here, we have the resources here and the students that would be good at it, so I’d like to see that in the future,” he said.

The actors in “Indy Push” are all Butler students and faculty members. Journalism professors Marc Allan and Scott Bridge played detectives.

“It was really informal,” Bridge said. “I think (Jeff) saw me in the hallway or he just stopped by and asked me if I wanted to have a part in his movie and I said, ‘Sure.’ Jeff did a nice job and he was very patient with us.  I’m really curious seeing student reaction when they see Marc Allan and I on screen.”

All of the student actors except for Stanich and Giacopelli were previously involved in the theatre department at Butler.

Sophomore Caitlin Burd plays the role of Bambi in “Indy Push.”  She was a theatre major last semester before switching to arts administration.

“It’s been really fun because I’ve gotten to know the guys a lot better,” Burd said. “I’m not doing any acting this semester so it gives me a chance to act. Overall, it was definitely a great experience, and I would do it over again.”

Stanich does not pay the actors. However, he said he buys food for his cast.

“I told him he could pay me in Krispy Kremes,” Burd said.

Butler students are also involved in the production aspect of “Indy Push.” Sophomore Josh Gaal helps with camera operations, and sophomore Brian Brennan helps with sound.

“They’ve been at nearly every single shoot if they can be,” Stanich said. “It’s just so cool to see these people want to do it and be a part of something, and I’m glad I could give that experience to them.”

He said making the film was a learning experience for himself and the cast and the crew.

“I can already tell I’ve gotten so much better,” he said. “Everyone who has worked with me has gotten better.”

Stanich also created a filmmakers club on campus in March. About 40 students have expressed interest in the club or have attended meetings. The club, Filmmakers Anonymous, has had three meetings thus far.

Stanich said he is now interested in pursuing a career in film.

“I loved every single bit of this whole filmmaking thing,” he said. “I wouldn’t spend 150 hours of my own free time if I didn’t like it, and I love it.  Whatever I do, I want to be a professional storyteller; whether that comes through novels or film or documentaries. I would absolutely love to do film.”

The movie will premiere on April 29 in Jordan Hall 141 at 6 p.m.

The film will be around 50 minutes long. Stanich plans on submitting it to film festival competitions.

“From the clips that I have seen, I’m really excited for it,” Burd said.  “Jeff really is great when it comes to editing film and putting it together, so I think it’s going to be amazing.”