Former NIU student gains fan base for online videos

Eric Beesley

DeKALB | College students spend hours at a time browsing the internet for side splitting videos to pass the time.

NIU students can now follow some former Huskies who are attempting to make it in the movie business. Andrew Morris, former NIU student who now attends Columbia College in Chicago, has formed a sketch comedy group called Born Ready Films.

Morris said that he has been making movies on and off since he was about 10 years old but he started getting serious about it during his sophomore year at NIU after meeting several friends who shared his passion for making short films and movies.

“It all started at NIU,” Morris said. “That’s where it all began.”

The group made their first feature length comedy, Roofied, about a kid who begins selling date rape drugs in order to fund his band, during his early years at NIU.

“Roofied was a lot of fun to make and we put in a lot of time and hard work,” said Micah Ross, writer, actor, photographer, and producer of Born Ready Films and a current NIU student. “We had a really low budget and ran into some problems but overall it was a success.”

The 250 guests present at the premiere of Roofied was the starting point that helped develop a fan base.

After the completion of Roofied, the film group has grown in size and production value. Morris said when he moved to Columbia College in Chicago he made more connections in the business and also learned more about what it takes to become a director. The group currently has over 1,000 fans on Facebook, their own web site with all their short films, as well as their own channel on Youtube.

“Eventually the goal is to make a living doing this,” Morris said. “It’s difficult because of how competitive this business is but I don’t see myself doing anything else. It doesn’t even feel like work, we have a blast doing it.”

The group’s second feature length comedy, “The Garage Hoppers,” was filmed this past summer and is set to premiere March 18 at the Portage Theatre, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.

“This film follows a group of high school friends who make a living stealing beer out of the garages in their neighborhood and selling it for 100 percent profit,” Ross said. “We hope to get a distribution deal for this movie, get it on Netflix and even enter it into some film festivals.”

Morris said the real reason they made it was to show people what they could do with such a small budget of only $3,000.

“Imagine what we could do with a real budget,” Morris said.

Born Ready Films has learned to replace funds with creativity when things have not gone as planned, and there have been some rough patches, Morris said.

“Tickets for the upcoming premiere are only $6 and we are excited to see how many people can make it out,” Morris said. “We invite anyone to come out and have some laughs with us.”