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Professional Filmmakers Help Kids With Disabilities Make Movie Magic

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – It’s lights, camera, action on the campus of St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

A special movie production is underway, featuring young adults with disabilities. And professional filmmakers are involved, donating their talents.

The Highland Friendship Club’s Movie Magic Program is in action every Tuesday through the summer, filming scenes of an original movie, and transforming people with disabilities into gifted artists.

“It’s for the cause,” said Dusty Thune, the film’s director. “It’s such a great thing seeing these guys on film doing something they love and really chasing their dreams.”

Thune wrote the script and made the costumes. The name of the movie is “Underland.” The plot addresses bullying. It also involves a hot air balloon and pirates in a tree.

One of the pirates is Michelle Schutt’s son.

“This opportunity for him is just wonderful,” Schutt said. “Where else would he get this otherwise? He has trouble speaking, he can’t remember the lines, but here they take that into account. Put him in a costume and put him in a movie. It’s just wonderful.”

It’s the fifth year that a team of make-up artists, photographers, editors, and costume and set designers have joined the effort.

The actors are grateful.

“My big deal with this thing is if we can get this so good that someone picks it up as a series, then I hand it off and say these are your actors and my job as a teacher is done,” Thune said.

Once the movie is edited, you’ll be able to see it on the big screen at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine University.

The premiere is set for Sept. 14.

For more information on the movie project and the group’s fundraising efforts to finance it, click here. 

Original Report: The Story Behind ‘Underland’ Could Be Its Own Feel-Good Movie (Aug. 13, 2013)

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