WSC film prof. goes to the silver screen

Mike White premiered his first movie ‘The Ghost in Her’

Brianna Parsons, Staff Writer

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On Sept. 19, people gathered in the downtown Wayne Majestic Theatre at 7 p.m. for the film premiere of “The Ghost in Her” by Wayne State College film professor Dr. Michael White.

“It was the idea of Yasuko Taoka, the dean [of Arts and Humanities] and Jay Collier, [Director of College Relations],” Film Professor Dr. Michael White said. “They knew I was finishing my film and they thought it would be really good to have a premiere because it got the community involved and it was good exposure for our program to have the professor actually producing.”

White created the film on his own.

“‘The Ghost in Her’ was based off a short story that I wrote,” White said. Writing the short story, White worked with one of his close friends.

“I wrote it as a short story and then one of my best friends, Joseph Peschel, who was a literary critic, gave me a lot of feedback and he was the script consultant on the story,” White said. “I bounced every idea off him.”

The film came to be after White figured out which story he wanted to produce a film out of.

“It was a lot of feasibility, so I went back and looked at the story ideas that could physically be produced in 12 weeks and I wanted to produce it quickly,” White said. “‘The Ghost in Her’ was very simple, it all took place in one place, it only had four characters and the actors would be readily available.”

Laurie Richards, Film Officer of Nebraska, visited Wayne for multiple reasons with the film premiere being one of them.

“I came to see the film because I knew him for a few years and I was very excited and energized by all of the things that were happening at the college,” Richards said. “[I also came to see what was happening] with film and film students and how it all looked [in the Hot Attic].”

Richards said she wanted to come down to Wayne to see Dr. White for the longest time.

“I met Michael over the emails, internet, and over a film festival in Omaha briefly,” Richards said. “I just really appreciated his enthusiasm, energy, go to it, get it done attitude. I was waiting for an excuse to come up here and meet him and I was so happy to be in Wayne.”

Richards was excited to see how the premiere went.

“Well, I did not have a crystal ball, but I am sure it would be very well attended.” Richards said. “I knew there were a lot of administration and college administration people that were going to be joining us that night and I thought it was going to be a pretty nice deal for the community and for the college.”

Melanie Loggins, coordinator of the Majestic Theatre., said this was a great experience for them to have the film premiere at the theatre.

“This was our first premiere and it was a new thing for us,” Loggins said. “For me, it was a matter of making sure that Dr. Whites film was ready to play on our equipment, made sure the theatre was in the best possible presentation, that the decorations and the food were all set up. He was making the movie and bringing the cast and crew. My job was to make sure that when everyone came, there was a nice party to celebrate.”

Before the film, White and Loggins worked together to make final adjustments to the film.

“I needed to work with him because his film needed to convert to a digital file that would play on our digital equipment upstairs because it was not film, it was digital,” Loggins said. “We needed to test that conversion to make sure it played and to see if the actual presentation of his film was what he wanted.”

From making sure things were set up properly, to showtime, Loggins was doing a lot of work putting the event together.

“Mostly I needed to assure him that we were going to make a nice event, that he did not need to worry about if there was going to be microphones, having enough chairs and if the food was going to be good, we had that under control,” Loggins said.

With the event being a premiere, the night was planned out ahead of time.

“People started coming a half an hour before the event, to be social. We then introduced Dr. White and he talked a little bit about the film,” Loggins said. “After that, we showed the film from beginning to end, all the way through the credits. In this case, it was a short film, only 13 minutes long. Then we brought the house lights back up and had the cast and crew came down to the front of the theatre to have a Q&A session with them for the audience to ask questions that they had. When that was done, we had everyone go, enjoy the food, stand around and talk.”

Loggins said the night was great with it being at the theatre.

“The premiere was fantastic. We had no idea what to expect, we did not know if people would enjoy it,” Loggins said. “The place was full, everyone loved the movie, they had a ton of great questions, and stuck around afterwards to ask more questions individually with the crew. For Dr. White, I thought it was a great experience for him and it was a great way to premiere his film.”

The Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Elliot came and saw the film.

“I was very impressed with the film ‘The Ghost in Her,’ and I was pleased with the turnout at the Majestic Theatre film premiere,” Elliott said. “Dr. White, his cast, and crew did a terrific job with the project. The audience could clearly see the bond that was formed with everyone who participated in the creation of the film.”

White was very happy with how the film premiere turned out.

“I was really thankful for the support of all the faculty, administration who supported the project: I have had nothing but support and encouragement along the way producing this film,” White said. “I was really excited to have the public see it, everyone felt so good about the film and my cast and crew came and just had a wonderful time and to have this hosted by the Majestic and Wayne State, it just couldn’t have been better.”

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