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Office of News and Information
212 Whitehead Hall / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

August 8, 1996
CONTACT: Leslie Rice

Premiere of Hopkins Student Film "The Spot"
at the Senator Theatre

It's a story that may ring familiarly among many American singles: Boy meets Girl, Boy gives Girl his phone number, Girl misplaces Boy's number and Boy and Girl never meet again.

Josh Siegel's film, "The Spot," follows such an encounter and all the what ifs? that play over and over again in the minds of this pair of Boy and Girl. The 1996 Hopkins Writing Seminars graduate will be premiering his 45-minute comedy-drama at The Senator Theatre at 5904 York Road in Baltimore, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. for the general public and as a Hopkins alumni event.

The film marks the end of a frustrating, grueling, exciting, wonderful two years for Siegel since he first began this project. In that time, he raised a shoestring budget through grants, the largest from Hopkins' Young Alumni Fund, rewrote his script six or seven times, arranged for locations like the interior of Camden Yards, the Baltimore Brewing Company, Penn Station and Towson Town Center and found a handful of actors willing to play their parts for free.

But despite all his meticulous preparations for its filming, "The Spot" still gave Siegel plenty of unexpected nail-biting, ulcer- causing crises, he said.

"The cameraman fell ill a month before shooting, forcing me to spend my whole spring break on the phone searching for a new one, the male lead got a $10,000 job for a commercial in Spain one week before filming, the sound tapes and equipment got stolen out of the sound recordist's car in the middle of filming," he said. "It was all pretty endless."

Even so, Siegel said when it was all over he realized that film- making is exactly what he wants to do with his life.

Not since horror film director Wes Craven was a Hopkins student in the 1960s has the Homewood campus seen such an explosion of student- made films. Also being shown in the Sept. 4 Senator Theatre event will be the 30-minute film "Mardi Gras, Baltimore," a comedy written, produced and directed last year by then-seniors Gil Jawetz and Matt Gross. Another film by senior Chris Boone, this one a docu-drama about rape, is in the works, as is a TV pilot show based on the "Saturday Night Live" format by two seniors that will be finished in September.

Much of this new interest is due to the ground broken by the students who created "Mardi Gras, Baltimore," and by Jerry Christensen, chair of both the English Department and the Film and Media Studies Program, which will offer a major for the first time this year. Christensen has worked closely with these students, counseling and encouraging them through much of the process of making a film.

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