Independent to the core

It all started with a chat among film majors at Myles’ Pizza Pub one night a few years ago.

‘A few of them found out that they couldn’t do anything, film-wise, at the school, because the school didn’t even really have equipment for them to use,’ says Brian Carlisi. ‘So they decided to start a group independently to produce film…and decided to also incorporate theatre into it.’

The end result was the Independent Film and Theatre Corps, or IFTC, a group designed to give Bowling Green residents, even those who are not university students, a chance to have original and independent work produced.

‘Our goal is to provide a base for people who would like to produce original film and theater work,’ says Megan McNerney, IFTC’s President.

‘We’re open to everybody, you don’t have to be a student,’ adds Melissa Bennett, IFTC’s Officer of Technical Aspects. ‘You can be anybody.’

Over the past few years, IFTC has produced many independent productions around campus, such as ‘Cause of Life,’ ‘Saying Everything’ and ‘Ten Minutes to Talk.’ And the group has a great deal of plans on tap for this year, including several stage and film productions, and shows produced by the Plastic Shatners, a 2-year-old improv troupe organized by the Corps.

‘We tend to be pretty open,’ Bennett says. ‘It’s pretty much whether or not it’s do-able according to the means which we have.’

Means of production is always a concern to the group. ‘We have to work with the facilities we can get our hands on, which could be anything,’ McNerney says. ‘And we have to be flexible about where we perform, because we don’t have a big theater at our disposal.’

To prospective film directors, IFTC’s Officer of Film, Dave Raker, says that the group has a little more leeway in terms of production. ‘We’re a little bit more flexible, because film projects can vary so drastically in scope,’ Raker says.

The group is an independent entity, not tied to BGSU’s Theatre program. ‘We try to work in cooperation with the Theatre Department, while we are not technically affiliated with them,’ McNerney says. ‘We try to accommodate the Theatre Department in the hope that they will accommodate us.’

And as such, as an independent group, IFTC gains most of its funding from any profits its shows may garner, some fundraising efforts, as well as dues from its members.

IFTC’s latest production will be going up this weekend, as the Plastic Shatners improv troupe will be having a show (‘Gobble, Gobble, Baby’) in the Harshman Community Center on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

‘(The Shatners) are a bunch of good, charismatic, funny people,’ says John Serve, head of the troupe. ‘I wouldn’t have put any of them in the group if I didn’t trust them. They’re all good, they’re all talented, and they’re a lot better than they give themselves credit for.’

Overall, Bennett says, members of IFTC have a lot to be proud of. ‘There were some doubts that the bunch of rag-tag individuals that were Freshman could pull this off and stay together three years later.’

And each member of the group is fervent about what they get out of participating in it. ‘We get a chance to produce original work, which we wouldn’t get to produce otherwise,’ McNerney says. ‘We also learn a lot about running shows through sheer trial and error.’

IFTC meets every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. in the Offenhauer East Conference Room. For more information on the group, write them at: [email protected]