Putting motion picture arts on the Interlochen map

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Interlochen, like the artists it fosters and launches, is a creative organism, seeking to bring new facets of arts instruction and presentation to the cultural lives of our worldwide community. And we are fortunate to partner with donors who offer the resources and vision to help realize a particularly ambitious new initiative in the arts.

That's what happened when Interlochen recognized an opportunity---and a fundraising challenge---in adding motion picture arts to the disciplines that make up our arts curriculum.  A motion picture arts program,would draw on Interlochen's established strengths and create an interdisciplinary approach to film education. Music students could score films; theatre students could develop their skills acting for the camera; visual artists could serve as designers; and creative writing students would have the opportunity to write screenplays and see them developed into film.

The initiative seemed like a good direction for Interlochen if---and it was a $6 million if---the new arts discipline was provided with facilities essential for its success. That's when a foundation with visionary leadership came forward.

An active supporter of arts and educational causes, the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation awarded Interlochen a grant of $1.5 million to launch the new program. That gift combined with others to fund a $6 million facility. The 26,000-square-foot building on the Interlochen campus will bring together key elements of filmmaking under one roof, including: a film studio, editing and production areas, a sound stage and a movie screening room. It is the only building of its kind in the country, built to benefit young artists interested in developing their skills as filmmakers. The building also offers 24 dorm rooms and a commons space for Academy students where they can study or relax.

At the 2006 ceremony to dedicate the Aaron and Helen L. DeRoy Center for Film Studies, Interlochen Center for the Arts President Jeffrey Kimpton explained how an established arts institution made a move into a new direction. "Interactions with the other arts are such a critical part of high quality filmmaking. This depth of experience can only happen at Interlochen, and we are proud of this great advancement of our mission."

Our state of the art facility, coupled with challenging coursework, provides young filmmakers with the tools they need to get started in a career in motion picture arts. Students edit high-definition video using industry-standard software. Four editing suites connect to a shared server with seven terabytes (7000 gigabytes) of data storage, and a sound stage allows students to create and film on sets. A movie screening room seats more than 200, allowing student work to be showcased.

“We are proud to be a major supporter of the new Motion Pictures Arts program at Interlochen,” stated the President of the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, Arthur Rodecker, who was present for the building’s dedication. “For years, DeRoy has been attracted to Interlochen because of their programs in education and the arts. With the opening of this new facility, students will now have the opportunity to extend their education in the arts, preparing them for successful entrance into any college or university film program."