Grad students at USC’s School of Film-TV have the option of submitting a full-length feature as their thesis. Trouble is, no student has ever been able to finance one--until now.
“Monday Morning,” written and directed by Don Murphy, who’d previously produced a school-financed short film, tells the story of an inhibited teen who finally asserts himself--with tragic consequences. Noah Blake, son of actor Robert, plays the central role; Julianne McNamara and Jason Lively also star.
“I didn’t fully understand what I was getting into,” admitted Murphy. “What drove me on was the opportunity to come out of the program with a feature to show.”
Producer Sheila Lightfoot said it “took a lot of telephone calls and pounding on doors, but eventually we were able to get support from within the industry and outside.” Through a product placement company they corraled Pepsi and several clothing lines to provide services and materials. “I’m too embarrassed to say (how little) it cost in hard cash. . . . “
“Monday Morning” is being edited in a donated room at Universal. The film makers hope to premiere it at the U.S Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in early 1989.