Lansing/Jackson: Newsmakers Feb 27, 2007




Lansing State Journal:

For the past four years, Daniel Granholm Mulhern has been the confidante, coach and soul mate to Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Although he has led volunteer efforts, he largely has stayed behind the scenes, serving as the governor's sounding board and helping raise the couple's three children. But with a new 200-page book on leadership just out and a daily radio show starting Monday evening, Mulhern is moving onto a far more public stage. As he learned last week, it can be a tricky spot for someone married to the governor... Mulhern starting radio show: Granholm's spouse to have weekday call-in program (Tue, 2/27)

CMU grad student's interactive movie set for premiere at University's film festival

Patrick Brown never would have guessed that a broken back would eventually lead him to groundbreaking creative endeavors. Brown, a graduate assistant in Central Michigan University's School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts, overcame the back injury he suffered in 2001, and during his lengthy recuperation at his parents' home in Rochester, N.Y., he began dabbling in screen writing. After graduating from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2002, Brown took a job in sales, but it wasn't long before he realized that his true passion was film.



On long drives to sales calls, Brown formulated an idea for an interactive film centered on a futuristic dictatorship called the Mandarin Mask. By the time Brown enrolled at CMU in the fall of 2005, a clearer concept for that film was born and developing.

After a year and a half of planning, writing, filming and editing, Brown's "The Maze," will make its world premiere during the 2007 Central Michigan International Film Festival, which is scheduled for March 22 through April 1 at locations on the CMU campus and in Mount Pleasant. "The Maze" will be shown at 9:45 p.m. March 22 in CMU's Charles V. Park Library Auditorium.

"The Maze" is significant both locally and within the film industry, Brown said, as it is one of a few interactive movies available to viewers. In addition, he is the first CMU BCA graduate student to create a film for his master's degree project and also is the first CMU student to have a solo screening at the Central Michigan International Film Festival.

Filmed primarily in Mount Pleasant and featuring a cast of Michigan actors - most of them from the Grand Rapids area - "The Maze" explores the disturbingly unpleasant memories of lead character Ashleigh Armstrong (Jenny May VanLaan of Grand Rapids) as she attempts to literally and mentally navigate a maze that will lead her back to her fiancé, Carter Demming (Billy Konsoer of Grand Rapids), who is being held captive by her deceased father, Benny (Steven J. Anderson of Grand Rapids).

As the movie progresses and Ashleigh must decide where to turn and how to feel or behave, viewers make those decisions for her with the click of a mouse or remote control at critical points in the plot. During the March 22 screening, audience members will vote on the choices using TurningPoint student response equipment from CMU's Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching, with Brown advancing the movie based on the audience's votes, which will be displayed in real time.

A noninteractive cut of the movie also will be on hand in case of technical difficulties with the interactivity, Brown said. Both versions will feature music by artists on the BCA school's Moore Media Records label.

Even before its release, "The Maze" has won a pair of awards. The movie's trailer was named Best Promo, and the movie's script received an honorable mention for Best Drama Script, both in the video category of the 2006 National Broadcasting Society Region 2 Production Competition. The trailer can be viewed online at

Due to its significant quantity of mature content, "The Maze" is recommended for adult audiences only. For more information about the film, visit

Tickets for the Central Michigan International Film Festival cost $4 each or $20 for a booklet of 10 and will be available beginning March 1 at the Central Michigan Life office and the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts office, both in CMU's Moore Hall, and at the Java City coffee shop in CMU's Charles V. Park Library. To learn more about the festival, including the schedule of films, visit







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This page contains a single entry by Mike Austerman published on February 27, 2007 7:15 AM.

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