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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wisconsin Teen to Refresh Audiences with Justice

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­­In addition to outselling Sierra Mist and bringing utter shame to the likes of Jolly Good Lemon-Lime, Sprite (a subsidiary of Coca-Cola) is also responsible for enacting programs to benefit communities. One such endeavor is the Sprite Refreshing Films Project, which awards a sizable budget to young aspiring filmmakers to create short films in a week's time. This winter, six crews were assembled in six regionally disparate American cities for shooting. In June, after the votes are counted, the winning film will be screened at a festival in a so-far undisclosed location.

In the meantime, we have a local youth to support.  Michael Quinn, 17, a native of Hartland, earned the daunting honor of directing the Chicago region's entry.  With a script by North Carolinian Josh Chagani, and rising star Alexis Jordan in the lead role, Michael directed Justice.

At what age did you become interested in film-making? Which films most inspired you?

I've always been a movie buff, but I became interested in filmmaking at about age 13. I started to become fascinated with how production works, and I look to pursue a career as a cinematographer or director. Avatar and Inception have inspired me because of their uniqueness and originality.

Can you provide a quick summary of Justice?

Sure. Our short film is about a comic book writer, Jim, who is tired of being pushed around by his egocentric boss, Greg.  Jim's comic character "Justice," a superhero played by Alexis Jordan, teaches him how to stand up for himself and to "captain his own ship."

Say a little something about the crew.  Be as complimentary or scathing as you wish.


Our all-youth crew became a family from the beginning. As for our actors, we couldn't have cast them better, as they had a great sense of humor and yet were very professional. From the moment Alexis Jordan walked on the set, she was smiling and ready to work. Our entire crew had a strong work ethic, even through the 16-hour shoot day. Not one complaint was made by any actor or crewmember. The weather was definitely an obstacle. One of our locations was an alley in Chicago, and on shoot day temperatures were sub-zero. I couldn't believe how upbeat everyone continued to be. You wouldn't shoot for four hours in the bitter cold if you didn't love filmmaking.

How can people see your film and how can they vote for you?

America can view our film starting April 1 at http://www.spriterefreshingfilms.com. To vote, text "CHI" to 777483. Also, each Sprite soft drink has a code underneath the bottle cap. If you text "CHI" followed by a space, and then the code, it is worth 25 votes! So, please vote early and often. The first round of voting ends April 11. We greatly appreciate all the support.

One last question:  If 64 superheroes competed in a tournament much like college basketball's Big Dance, who would you pencil-in for your Final Four?


Hmmm... I'd have to say Justice, Batman, Iron-man, and for a villain, the Joker.