Mike Hill isn’t stopping to rest

Mike Hill is hard at work doing some pre-production work.

Mike Hill originally came to Western Carolina University for the band, but as he plans for graduation in May 2014, he will be graduating with a degree from the Film and Television Production program.

“I sort of wanted to do music, I sort of wanted to write – I didn’t really know what I wanted to do exactly, but then I got lucky.” Hill said, “I fell into something I really liked.”

What changed his mind was talking with Jack Sholder, who is head of the FTP program at WCU.

“I’ve always loved movies, but I met with him and he showed real enthusiasm about the program and he spoke very highly about it, which I guess he would. He convinced me to try it out and from there it was just kind of discovery,” Hill said.

Hill has worked on films both in and out of the program in various roles. He co-wrote “Jerry,” 2013’s senior thesis project, with Grant Hengeveld, as well as co-directing the trailer for WCU’s School of Stage and Screen fall production “Zombies on Campus! A Slaughterpocalypse” with Blair Hoyle. He also worked on an anthology film called “Night Whispers,” which received the Best Regional Feature award at Monstercon 2013 in Greenville, SC.

He has also directed various class projects, but prefers to work on pre-production.
“I love coming up with the ideas and trying to, you know, write the script and lay out a film, figure out how you’re going to shoot it, figure out casting and everything else. I just love that part of it,” explained Hill.

Production of both short and feature-length films is a very involved, according to Hill.
“It’s doing everything from trying to get money, figuring out who’s going to direct it, who’s gonna be in the crew, etc. We try to schedule it, we try to get everybody on board and make everybody happy, which is kind of like real-world producing, but for us it’s just a little bit different because we don’t have safety nets and we don’t have, you know, millions of dollars to work with, so we have a lot of strict guidelines we have to follow as a producer.”

Hill is currently working with fellow students as well as professionals at IHF Films in Charlotte in order to produce Stephen King’s short story “Rest Stop” into a short film of his own through the Dollar Baby program.
“We’re still kind of in our infancy, but getting plenty of work done, I think.”
See the multimedia for more information on the “Rest Stop” and the Dollar Baby program.
For more information on the progress of filming “Rest Stop,” readers can visit their website or follow them on twitter @IHFFilms

About Ceillie Simkiss

Ceillie Simkiss is a senior at Western Carolina University in the Communications program focusing on Journalism, with a minor in art. Currently enrolled in Features and Magazine Writing, she works as Editor-in-Chief for The Western Carolina Journalist. She also works for the Western Carolinian as a Photographer and News Designer. She can be found on Facebook (Ceillie Simkiss), Twitter (@CandidCeillie) and LinkedIn (Ceillie Simkiss).