Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Record Update First

Indie film crew has been busy around U-M campus



Near the edge of campus, several luxurious RVs line up along Maynard Street. The scene looks more like a motor home sales lot, than a campus lane. For the day, the street is a converted campground where the crew of “Trivial Pursuits” will break for lunch.

Christopher Farah, writer-director of the independent film "Trivial Pursuits," has been filming around campus this summer. (Photo by Lee Doyle, Office of Vice President for Communications)

In the last several months, the entourage and film crew have been a conspicuous sight on campus. They’ve shown up on the Diag, in the Hatcher Library, and this Saturday, they’ll be filming at Michigan Stadium during the first football game of the season.

The low-budget story about the travails of a U-M grad student considering whether to leave his hometown is the first film the university has agreed to be cited in the script as taking place at U-M.

For writer-director, Christopher Farah, the comedy is a chance to share his love affair with U-M. Farah, 33, a U-M alumnus, created the story based on his days as a grad student and his bar-trivia experience. His brother, Mike Farah, 30, is co-producer.

“This movie couldn’t be made without the cooperation of the University of Michigan,” he says, standing outside Ashley’s bar and restaurant, where he’s taking a break from filming. “This film isn’t an advertisement for the university; it’s a dynamic portrayal of how this place becomes a part of you.”

After earning a finance degree from the University of Indiana, Mike Farah moved to Los Angeles. He’s on hiatus from his job managing Will Ferrell’s Web site, FunnyorDie.com.

Many U-M students are working on the film as extras or production support staff.

“They’re getting experience they couldn’t get anywhere else,” says Mike Farah. “Many of them want to stay in Michigan, and maybe if there are (film) jobs, they will.”
The film could be ready as early as spring.