WSC alumna visits from Columbia Film School

Morgan Stough reflects on first semester of graduate school and becoming a producer

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WSC alumna visits from Columbia Film School

Photo courtesy of Michael Marek

Photo courtesy of Michael Marek

Photo courtesy of Michael Marek

Emmalee Scheibe, Staff Writer

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Recent Wayne State College alumna Morgan Stough returned to campus from Chicago on Monday to talk about her experiences at Columbia Film School.

Stough graduated from WSC in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media.

“I am a first-year graduate student at Columbia in the heart of Chicago,” said Stough. “It’s one of the biggest film schools in the country, with thousands of students in the undergrad program.”

At Columbia she has produced a few short films, been a part of many sets and has gotten to know the film industry inside and out.

“I’m studying to become a producer because I have never been super interested in directing,” said Stough. “I would rather find someone who has a concept and then develop it.”

She has learned about writing contracts, the legalities of hiring people and how to pay them in the industry. At Columbia, students own all their films because they pay for them out of their own pocket.

“My first film cost me $150, and I shot on a C100 camera,” said Stough. “I also made the budget and oversaw the casting.”

Stough said that when working with a low budget film you will often times be in charge of many roles. She acquired the rights to a short story by a WSC student, and she will be turning it into a short film this semester.

“My rule of thumb is to keep it simple and have fun with the visuals and the sets,” said Stough.

Students at Columbia often work together on sets. Stough talked about when the producers would read directors scripts to make sure they would be able to work into a film.

“You can tell the difference between a student film and a professional film by the dialogue of the script,” said Stough.

Stough is really drawn to film adaptations, which are the transfer of a work or story to a feature film.

“My thesis will be an adaptation of the book ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman,” said Stough.

For Stough’s last semester at Columbia, she will spend five weeks in Los Angeles. That way she is able to build a network in L.A.

“I’m still learning so much about myself as a producer, and it has been an amazing experience so far,” said Stough.

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