Digital Cinema Students to Participate in UVU-FanX Studios Writer’s Room

Digital Cinema Students to Participate in UVU-FanX Studios Writer’s Room

Renowned Hollywood screenwriter and film producer Ed Neumeier to mentor students.

OREM, Utah — Five Utah Valley University (UVU) film students have been selected to participate in the university’s inaugural “UVU-FanX Studios Writer’s Room,” a groundbreaking program that offers aspiring film students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in writing screenplays.

The students will be mentored by renowned Hollywood screenwriter and film producer Ed Neumeier, best known for his work on iconic films such as “Robocop” and the “Starship Troopers” series. FanX Studios will pay the students for their work on the screenplays, providing them with a valuable opportunity to earn income while gaining practical experience.

The UVU Writer’s Room is based on the old writer’s room at Paramount Studios. It aims to provide film students with hands-on experience in screenplay writing under the guidance of industry professionals. This unique initiative is a collaboration between UVU, FanX Studios, and Neumeier, along with some of his writers who have ties to Utah.

Each of the five selected students — Sawyer Burton, a junior from Highland, Utah; Annika Halversen, a junior from Thousand Oaks, California; John Hintz, a senior from Provo, Utah; Spencer Schwendiman, a junior from Salt Lake City; and Jessa Wright, a junior from Sparks, Nevada — will be assigned to write screenplays on different ideas and topics provided by FanX Studios. Over the spring and summer, these students will have the opportunity to work closely with Neumeier to develop their scripts.

Neumeier will join the students via Zoom from California to provide guidance on story characters, plots, research, and how it all fits together. The goal is for the students to work side-by-side with Neumeier, FanX Studios, and UVU mentors, gaining valuable insights into the writing and business sides of filmmaking.

The students were chosen from a cohort of 27 enrolled in the course Special Topics in Digital Cinema, Hollywood Pitch (DGM 250R), which taught them how to outline movie ideas and pitch them to movie producers. Students were selected based on their creativity, writing abilities, and potential to excel in the program.

The writing and mentoring process will take place over six months, allowing the students to refine their skills and develop a deep understanding of the craft. Treatments for the screenplays will be provided by Alex Nibley in UVU’s Digital Media department, further enhancing the students' learning experience.

“The visit of Neumeier to UVU is a significant milestone for the university’s expanding film program,” said Tammy Clark, associate provost of Academic Innovation at UVU. “This exciting opportunity has been made possible through a partnership between UVU and FanX Studios, a leading production company. The collaboration aims to provide students with invaluable industry insights and hands-on experience, or what we call engaged learning.”