Hollywood Comes to Muncie

When it comes to making movies, Ball State has established a national reputation as the best film school without a film school. The latest effort, My Name is Jerry, a professionally produced film sponsored by the university, has been heralded nationally by Inside Higher Ed, which cited the effort as the “birth of Ball-E-Wood.”

About 50 students from diverse disciplines—including theatre and telecommunications as well as business, architecture, journalism, music, and English—were involved in making the movie. Theatre major Teresa Sabatine was one of those students. Sabatine’s role in the film ranged from casting extras to catering to fundraising and taught her a lot about the film industry, as well as skills in problem-solving and collaboration.

Sabatine is a true believer in immersive learning. In addition to My Name is Jerry, she took part in a seminar at the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. With an interdisciplinary group of students, she researched online identities and social networking sites. The group created a graphic novel and wrote and produced a play on the topic.

“Immersive learning experiences are one of the absolute best ways to allow students to develop real-world skills and work in real-world environments,” she says. “Having the chance to work with other students, faculty members, and real-world professionals to create a tangible product puts students like myself one step ahead of other graduates when heading into the workforce.”