Shane Fleming has already achieved what so many of us dream of, and he hasn’t even concluded his freshman year of college.
Fleming, a Montclair State University freshman BFA filmmaking major, has found himself a role in director and writer Owen Kline’s A24-produced feature film “Funny Pages.”
Before we get into Fleming’s achievements, he would like to put on the record that he is in fact not pretentious.
“Funny Pages” is set to debut at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May 2022. The synopsis says the film is, “a bitingly funny coming-of-age story of a teenage cartoonist who rejects the comforts of his suburban life in a misguided quest for soul.”
Fleming plays a comic book store customer named Gabe who has a couple of scenes throughout the film.
“I have a few bits that come in and out throughout the movie,” Fleming said. “All these people are [going to] see it, and I hope I get a good laugh. I’m really proud because I’ve seen the film, and I really like it. I’m really proud for this to be my debut in a feature film. Even if my role is small. I don’t really care. It’s because it’s a great movie.”
He even aided the crew by being a production assistant on set after he was done filming his scenes.
Starting as a movie buff and a filmmaker at the age of seven, Fleming has a lifelong passion for filmmaking. It’s no surprise he has made it this far at such a young age.
Coming from his comedian parents, Manhattan-raised Fleming first got his taste of success at age 10. After winning a contest to announce a film on the Turner Classic Movies television channel, Fleming has become a recurring face in between showings of films.
During his upbringing, Fleming was constantly surrounded by actors, comedians and fellow film lovers. He was even an intern for the Safdie brothers. Insider secret: they love drinking La Croix sparkling water.
Now, Fleming finds himself in the hands of Montclair State.
“I liked that the program was very hands-on,” Fleming said. “I liked the fact that in the first year, you actually do make films and you actually do learn equipment. A lot of like bigger schools like [New York University], which rips people off, you don’t touch a camera until your junior year, which is crazy.”
Despite his success, Fleming has managed to have quite the normal college experience. He’s involved in his own and other students’ films as well as Montclair Improv League and Friends (MILF).
One of Fleming’s fellow MILF members, Ben Bratter, a freshman earth and environmental science major, describes what it’s like to work with Fleming.
“Fleming is one of the oldest souls I have met,” Bratter said. “His humor always makes me chuckle.”
Luckily, his peers haven’t treated him much differently than any other student.
“With A24 people either go ‘really?’ Or they go, ‘what is that?’,” Fleming said. “People either think it’s really cool, or they don’t know what it is. And I’m fine with either.”
Fleming’s roommate, John Bruno, a fellow freshman filmmaking major, weighed in on Fleming’s talents.
“He has a natural talent for filmmaking that’s only amplified by the environment he chooses to surround himself in,” Bruno said. “He’s the kind of person you know will go far in the film world.”
Fleming is one of many successful Montclair State students who have done great things in the industry. The student body and filmmaker community here are proud to have Fleming represent us in France, and then in Hollywood.