KNOXVILLE — Three students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, might be signing autographs in the near future.
Scott Murphy, a sophomore in journalism and electronic media, Daniel Hubbard, a junior in journalism and electronic media, and Matt Dearman, a junior in history, joined forces to produce “Five Towns Extended Trailer,” a short film made to look as if it’s promoting a movie.
Now their project is featured on HBO’s “Entourage” Web site, http://www.hbo.com/entourage/community/index.html, under the headline, “This Fan is Living It.” “Entourage” is a hit comedy television series that looks at the life of Vince Chase, a young actor in Hollywood, and his entourage. The show will soon enter its fifth season, so HBO decided to spice up its Web site in preparation for the premier by featuring a fan who is living the “Entourage” lifestyle.
The idea for the UT students’ film trailer was born in May, during finals, when the three students — all aspiring filmmakers — decided to make one more video before they had to part ways for the summer.
“Matt and I are big ‘Entourage’ fans, and we were introducing Daniel to it,” Murphy said. “I told Matt to improvise a few lines from the show. I edited it, and it ended up coming out really cool, so I thought we should make some more.”
Over the next couple of days, they went downtown to shoot more footage.
Murphy first posted the trailer on YouTube. He then posted it on Vimeo because the site allows users to stream videos in high-definition.
“We posted it on here so people could see it in the absolute best quality,” Murphy said. “We were hoping to show our friends and family — just personal enjoyment more than anything.”
Three months after posting it online, Murphy received an unexpected e-mail.
“I received a message through my video account on Vimeo,” Murphy said.
A woman in the marketing department at HBO told him they wanted to develop a new feature on their Web site and were very interested in his trailer.
“I started freaking out,” Murphy said. “I didn’t think it was real. The next day, I received a call, and she told me they wanted to link the video to their site so it would be affiliated exclusively with ‘Entourage.'”
Season five of “Entourage” premiers Sept. 7, so HBO decided to redo their Web site in preparation for the upcoming premier. They already had searched more than 5,000 videos online to find a fan who was living the “Entourage” life.
And that’s just what Murphy’s trailer portrayed.
Murphy said he and his filmmaking buddies had no idea that posting their video on Vimeo would lead to such a “big break.”
He is excited about what this potentially could do for his career aspirations.
“This is probably the best exposure we could ask for,” Murphy said. “Thousands of people will see this, and that’s a lot of industry people. If they like what we did, there’s a possibility they could contact us, and maybe some sort of job offer or internship could come of this.”
Murphy plans to make many more videos during his career at UT.
“We’re hoping we can get some more things started here on campus and keep making bigger and better things.”
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Monday, (865) 974-2225, email@example.com