Professor and students work together to create new short film

By Jennifer Smith | Reporter

Maverick Moore, a lecturer in the department of film and digital media professor, is working on his own short film with the help of Baylor colleagues, students and friends called “My Dinner With Werner”. Moore describes the film as a ridiculously wild and wacky comedy short film about a 1987 dinner date with an unsuspecting murder plot as the main dish.

This story is based on real people and events, and inspired by the turbulent relationship between German filmmaker Werner Herzog and German actor Klaus Kinski. Herzog and Kinski were both notorious for their conflicting and neurotic personalities that pushed each other to hilarious extremes. However, they only made five films together because in 1987, their friendship was suddenly and permanently terminated.

“I think Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski are some of the best characters never written. Truly stranger than fiction. Both are madman artists that have gone to entertainingly extreme lengths for their film projects, especially when working together,” Moore said.

Moore said he has always been captivated by Herzog and Kinski’s extreme artistry. For example, Kinski believed he had been reincarnated as the characters he would portray. Both Herzog and Kinski’s explosive friendship and creative works have been widely celebrated in film circles worldwide.

“Their conflicting extreme idiosyncrasies as well as their polarizingly different personalities, Herzog with his hilariously non-romantic deadpan demeanor and Kinski with his loud, fiery, explosive personality, have historically put them on an exaggerated edge with one another,” Moore said. “In fact, both have sincerely plotted to kill one another at one point in their lives, which many argue has contributed to their art together but also led to their inevitable yet mysterious downfall in 1987. I wanted to adapt these people into characters and exaggerate their personalities and “friendship” for comedy.”

“My Dinner With Werner” was chosen as the “Crowdfunding Pick” on Film Shortage, one of the top online venues for finding and viewing short films. Moore said it’s an honor to be picked and it not only gives the film extra exposure, but also a stamp of coolness and legitimacy.

“We’re currently in the tail-end of pre-production, which is the stage of filmmaking that involves preparing, planning and strategizing the hows, whats, and whens of a film shoot. At this stage, we have an excellent, award-winning cast and crew lined up for this movie, including many Baylor alums and students,” Moore said. “We’re now in the process of crowd-funding on Indiegogo to cover the remaining production expenses so that we can turn this fun, crazy story into a reality. We will be shooting the film in early January 2018.”

The cast and crew are not only Baylor students; the project is also receiving help from professionals including award-winning actors Matthew Sanders and Andrew Perez.

“The inclusion of nationwide industry professionals in the cast and crew is not only exciting for the film, but also for all the students working on it. The opportunity to work with professionals amplifies their real-world experience and gives them an invaluable set of knowledge and skills that provides them with better job opportunities during their time at Baylor and after they graduate,” Moore said. “As Stanley Kubrick once said, ‘The best education in film is to make one.’”

Boerne senior Alayna Hudson is one of the many Baylor students working in production on this film. Hudson said her favorite part of the filmmaking process has been how educational it’s been. She said she’s learned so much about directing from simply watching Moore work, and she’s grateful for the hands-on experience.

“I think the thing that intrigues me the most about film, now that I’ve been in the FDM department for four years, is the incredible amount of details that go into making just one scene, let alone the whole film,” Hudson said. “Maverick is very thorough, so every single prop, word and action in every shot has been planned out to the T. While watching the short you would never know this, but that is what makes it so intriguing to me.”

Just a few of the “details” Hudson is referring to in the filmmaking process includes location scouting, auditions, catering plans, prop searches, crowd-funding campaigns, promos, finding a reliable, hardworking crew, rehearsals, scheduling and much more goes into every project.

Boerne senior Jake Moore, who is also working in production for “My Dinner With Werner”, agrees with Hudson how there’s more than meets the eye with filmmaking. Moore’s excited to be a part of the crew and to have this kind of exposure.

“This film is the most unique project I’ve ever been a part of. Maverick pulls together influences from tons of different filmmakers to create a hilarious story. He has an attention to detail that really brings the whole thing together,” Jake Moore said. “My favorite memory was probably when I first got to screen the Indiegogo trailer with the talking chicken. It’s hilarious and definitely worth watching if you have a chance.”

Jake Moore said he loves film because it gives filmmakers an avenue to tell a unique story in different perspectives. To Jake Moore, filmmaking is a way to express abstract ideas and difficult feelings in a comprehensible way.

The cast and crew are raising money for their film and have reached 68 percent of their goal fund. Check out the first preview of MY DINNER WITH WERNER .

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