Many students have noticed flyers hanging around campus stating “Get Some” in bold, underlined letters. A look further down the page and into the organization behind these flyers reveals the work of a local independent film crew.
Get Some Film Production Ltd. is comprised of four former Northern Kentucky University students. The founder of the group, 24-year-old James Riseden, attended NKU until 1999. According to one of the other members, Jeremy Zang, Riseden put a lot of time and effort into his studies at NKU before finally deciding it wasn’t for him.
Riseden helped raise funds for equipment at NKU and tried on several occasions to start an independent film festival at the university. The idea for the festival seemed to get a good reception at first, but was eventually shot down. According to Zang, Riseden feels “blown off” by the university and now refuses to deal with NKU at all. This includes doing interviews for The Northerner.
Zang, however, is a different story. He is quick to point out that while Riseden will not personally deal with NKU, he does not tell his fellow members to necessarily follow in his footsteps. Zang said he would be pleased to talk about and promote their films.
Get Some Film currently has a collection of three short films available for purchase in four stores in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area.
The films, collectively referred to as “Get Some Film Production Volume I,” deal with a wide variety of topics. Subject matter includes sitting in on a meeting in Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as experiencing the underground, illegal music trade of the year 2014 in “Def Insect.” Both of these films were written and directed by Riseden. The third segment is taken off of the public access show from which Get Some Film adopted its name.
Riseden and the other founding member of the the group, Rick McCulley, had a show on Cable Insight in Northern Kentucky, by the same name, a couple of years back. The show included the filming of pranks, on-campus surveys, an occasional guest speaker and “Dissing Movies,” the third segment on “Volume I.” The show was partially recorded and edited in Riesden’s basement.
“Jim (Riseden) thinks some people may remember his show, and this probably helped our sales,” Zang said.
Zang, 20, was actually the last of the four current members to join the group. He found out about Get Some Film from a flyer posted in the theater department at NKU in spring of 2000. The flyer announced acting auditions for a local independent film. He had been thinking about acting at the time and saw this as the perfect opportunity to get started. Although Zang was not originally cast for the role he wanted, Riseden pulled him aside and asked that he would come to the filming as an extra. Zang showed up for the filming and has been involved with the group ever since. He has played main roles in a few of their other films.
“I just saw it as an opportunity to hang out with a bunch of cool guys and maybe make a run,” Zang said.
The other two members, Dave Cartledge and McCulley, both met up with Riseden through the theater department at NKU. After having been out of school for about a year, Cartledge called Riseden to see what he was up to. Riseden had just started laying out his plans for the filming of “A.A.” and “Def Insect.” Cartledge thought the project sounded interesting and soon began working on the films. The filming took place between February and May of 2001.
The films entered stores only within the past couple of months and Cartledge has handled most of the selling. They were first available at Borders Books and Music in Springdale, then Circle Records on Glenway Ave., in Western Hills. But it was not until the tapes entered Kentucky stores, at Phil’s Records in Ft. Thomas and in Crescent Springs, that in-store sales began to pay off. Phil’s Records actually sold out within the first week and ordered more tapes. Although Zang points out there were only about three tapes in each store, the store managers seemed quite surprised at the quick success of the films. They had put the films on the shelf without even viewing them.
In addition to these sales, Get Some Films has sold 40-50 tapes through their own promotion. Word-of-mouth and flyers are the only forms of advertising they use. Recently, the flyers have caused some trouble for the group. Zang got a call last week from the Board of Public Relations at NKU asking if he was responsible for the flyers around campus.
“At first I thought it was a prank,” Zang admitted. “I sort of played along like it was one of my friends.”
Zang told the representative from the board that he “didn’t think” he was responsible for the flyers. After finally realizing the call was not a prank Zang explained that Get Some Film had a large following at NKU and that it was hard to control what their fans did to help promote the group.
The representative also asked Zang if Riseden was responsible for the flyers, to which he answered no. The board requested that Zang stop the flyers from being posted.
“I said I would try and pull some strings,” Zang said, “but I also asked why they didn’t want the flyers being posted.”
The representative from the board, according to Zang, said Get Some Film was not a “real” organization and had not asked permission to hang flyers.
Zang took offense to this statement, citing that they had tapes available in stores and considered themselves to be a legitimate organization. Zang was also angry the board called him at work to discuss the matter. Despite a few minor barriers, Zang persists that the overall reaction of those who have seen the films has been positive.
The films are recorded using digital video technology and, aside from the initial cost of the camera, are fairly inexpensive to make.
A statement following “A.A.” boasts that the film literally cost $5 to make.
Get Some Film sells their videos at cost (tape, insert, and production cost) and the tapes usually go for $7 if bought direct from them, $9 or $10 if bought in stores. According to Zang, the films are self-rated at R, “just to be safe and as a warning,” due to adult language, some violence, and several drinking scenes.
Future plans for Get Some Film include Volume II’s release within the next couple of months, which will include “Fubar,” written and directed by McCulley, and “Serviced,” written and directed by Cartledge.
Zang is also working on a public access show called “We the People …” which will feature some stand-up comedy, pranks, and funny moments, but will also focus in on some serious issues he thinks Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky need to deal with.
Zang hopes to raise awareness about Get Some Film in the process.
Zang is currently taking a semester off from school in order to put more time into new film production and to save up money for new equipment and other filming expenses. He expects to return for the fall 2002 semester.
Cartledge, in addition to his film work, is also a stand-up comedian frequenting the Louisville area. Rick McCulley is in the Coast Guard and has not been around as much lately, according to Zang.
The members of Get Some Film Production Ltd. plan to pursue film production as a career, and a move to California maybe in the near future.
“We’re planning on sticking to it like a family,” Zang said.
By the end of the month the Get Some Film web site should be up, and videos should be available for purchase there.
The site is www.getsomefilm.com. In the meantime you can contact Get Some Film Production Ltd. at firstname.lastname@example.org.