By: Kristin Helf, Staff Writer
Towson graduate Max Radbill has been an aspiring filmmaker since kindergarten, when he would act out movie scenes with his toys. Now, with the electronic media and film degree he received in May 2015, Radbill is about to undertake producing his first feature film.
“When I started looking for colleges, I looked for a film school in Maryland, and at the time, Towson was the only one that had a real film program,” Radbill said.
During his time at Towson, Radbill was in media-production society Lambda Kappa Tau (LKT), where he served as social chair for one semester, and coproduction chair for two.
Radbill’s upcoming film, “The Sisterhood of Girls Who Won’t Date Me,” draws heavily from movies like the 1989 dark comedy “Heathers” and, his favorite, “Mean Girls.”
“I want to make something like that, that’s funny and quotable and you can connect to it,” he said.
Radbill says he’s grateful for the immense support he’s received so far from the Towson University community—from former classmates and LKT members to professors he had during his time at Towson.
“Professor Angelella, who’s the chair of the film department right now, he’s been helping me,” Radbill said. “He’s been very supportive ever since I had him my junior year, when I started writing the script.”
Radbill said that Joseph Kraemer, another film professor, has been helping him set up a Kickstarter campaign in addition to providing other advice. Radbill’s fraternity has pledged $1,000 to his project from money raised through LKT members’ dues. Radbill noted that LKT’s support was especially important to him during this process.
“We’re always looking for cool things to use [our] money for,” Radbill said. “And hey, this is a feature-length film, if you guys put your name on it and pledge some money to it, that’s the foundation of something bigger and I think that’s a good direction for LKT to be going in.”
Radbill’s money-raising goal on Kickstarter is $25,000—which he has until March 18 to raise in full, or he won’t see any of the donated money, per Kickstarter’s policy.
At time of writing $15,605 have been pledged to the project.
“It’s kind of slow to happen,” Radbill said, “But what’s cool about Kickstarter is like, you have to get all the money by the end of the campaign or you don’t get any of it, so that adds a layer of suspense.”
To encourage potential donors, incentives are listed alongside different amounts of money that can be donated. For example, a pledge of $1,000 rewards donors with a walk-on role in the film, and for $5,000, you can win a date with Radbill himself. Even just a $10 pledge earns contributors a digital copy of the pop song being recorded especially for the film.
The story of “Sisterhood” revolves around a boy in high school who’s discovered that every girl in his school has taken a secret oath to not date him, as the title suggests. Radbill describes it on his Kickstarter page as, “A film about discovering who you are, what you want, and who will date you.”
Senior EMF major Leonardo Brito serves as the film’s assistant director, and is one of four associate producers.
“If anyone else told me they were making a feature film right out of college, I would probably just say, ‘yeah, okay, good luck with that,’” Brito said. “But knowing that it is Max, I’ve never seen someone with the drive and dedication and need. Not a want, but a need to make a film. I know that just that passion alone is going to make it. This film’s going to get made no matter what.”