Every quarter, Fire Escape supports 7-10 Studio Projects. These films come from scripts submitted at the end of the prior quarter and are fully supported by the Fire Escape Committee from mentorship to providing equipment and crew and even limited amounts of funding. Pretty much the best FEF has to offer right here, folks. We organize a screening at the end of each quarter to premiere the latest studio projects, as well as select independent projects completed in time. All are welcome to submit scripts, apply to direct, and sign up to work on a crew regardless of previous Fire Escape experience. Full details regarding script submission, director applications, and crew sign-ups vary per quarter — so make sure to sign up for our Listhost to stay up to date!

Script Seminar is our weekly screenwriting workshop. It includes a short talk on time-proven script concepts let by our Script Coordinator Abby, some time for fun writing exercises, and time to share writing in a constructive and positive setting. A longstanding Fire Escape tradition, and the best way to improve your writing, fast. It’s practical work at UChicago! Inconceivable!

You can find updates on the FE Screenwriters Listhost.       CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE SCREENWRITERS LISTHOST! 

Thanks to the generous support of the UChicago Womens’ Board, Fire Escape Films offers small grants to projects written and directed by female-identifying filmmakers, ranging from small stipends to compensate actors to larger grants supporting equipment rentals and location booking. The WIFI program also supports several speaking events each academic year. Stay tuned for more information.

Unlike our Studio Projects, Fire Escape’s Independent Projects are designed to scale to your experience and the project’s needs. Based on your application and the capacity of Fire Escape’s Committee, we’ll allocate equipment resources, assistance, and limited funding to help you achieve your vision.  

Independent projects are less formal and often less complex than our Studio Projects. They are open to all UChicago students, regardless of previous experience with Fire Escape. Through our weekly programming (General Meetings, Filmmaking Workshops, Script Seminars, etc) you’ll have more than enough time to get the basics down, even if you’ve never picked up a camera before. 
Got a film you want to make with your roommates? Maybe a film detailing an elaborate dream-world heist of Chicken Nuggets from the 52nd Street McDonalds? Send them our way! 
Check back later for more details on how these projects will be supported in 2020 and beyond.

Each quarter, Fire Escape collaborates with various professors, Career Advancement, and other RSOs on campus to welcome industry professionals to screen their films and teach masterclasses to Fire Escape Members. Previous guests have included Salem Mekuria, Max Asaf, Mimi Wilcox, and many others. We’re planning to continue this over Zoom – stay tuned!

Want to learn how to work a DSLR? Something fancier? Want to see what it takes to handle the logistics of producing a film? Maybe you’re curious about directing and want to hear what it’s all about? Ever wondered what actors wish directors knew? Or maybe how to use Premiere, After Effects, etc? Fancy lights? Become a better actor? All this and more at Fire Escape’s General Meetings. 

Think you can make the best short film in 48 hours? Compete against other Fire Escape members on campus and off for fabulous prizes. More contests to come.

Check out last year’s 48Hr Film Fest winners here!

Fire Escape offers grants up to $500 for summer filmmaking projects by our members. Applications open in the Spring – check the Facebook group for more details. 

Fire Escape offers up to $200 in support of our more experienced filmmakers as they submit their projects to film festivals. Reach out to us if you have a Fire Escape project you’d like to submit!