“Making Parts”: Produced by GVSU Alumnus John Otterbacher

Grand Valley State University alumnus, John Otterbacher, produced the internationally recognized film, Moving Parts. Directed and written by Emilie Upczak, Moving Parts is a glimpse into the commonly unknown world of human trafficking that takes place in Trinidad and Tobago. After hiring a smuggler to reunite her with her brother, the main character, Zhenzhen, a young Chinese woman, finds herself in uncollectible debt and forced into involuntary servitude.

John Otterbacher graduated from GVSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production and with a Master of Science in Communications. As a producer, Otterbacher sees himself as a “creative problem solver and collaborator that partners with the director to bridge gaps, make connections, and keep the process going in order to achieve something that is greater than what they can do individually.”

Otterbacher reflected on his time at GVSU, sharing that it provided him with a “wide breathe of experiences.” He praised the Summer Film Program, remembering working on it twice during his time as a student, once as a Graduate Assistant, and then twice as a Teacher/Producer. He expressed that the “invaluable experience” of the Summer Film Program aided in the kickstart of his film career by providing him with the opportunity to work on larger projects with industry professionals.

Moving Parts will be screening at Celebration Cinema Woodland on the 18thand 19thof January. Following the Saturday showing, John Otterbacher will be holding and Q&A for all attendees.

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