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Two UW System professors are heaping on a heavy load of summer homework. Their students couldn’t be happier.

After successful collaborations with film students on “Tractor for Sale,” “Brothers” and “Test Day,” husband-and-wife team Troy and Frances Perkins have planned to squeeze in two more short films before the fall semester starts.

A bonus is that students now will receive internship credit in addition to experience and great resume material.

“Taking the educational process out of the classroom and into the real world is vital in film production,” said Frances Perkins, a former University of Wisconsin Oshkosh film professor who now teaches theater arts at UW-Fond du Lac.

Their latest project, “Birthday Girl,” is written and directed by Troy ’94, a professor in UW Oshkosh’s radio-TV-film department and fellow alumnus Mike Hartzel ’94. Frances is the producer. The short film will feature Dan Bell of Mayville and Sherilyn Henderson, a 17-year-old Screen Actors Guild actress from Minneapolis.

“Billfold,” their second film of the summer, will include actors from their previous films.

Some shooting for the films took place June 17 and 18 in Randolph. Future shoots will be held June 19 and 20 at UW-Fond du Lac and June 21 in Oshkosh.

Prior films have gotten major support from alum, and these projects are no different. Bob Zondag, of Jung Seed ’70, has helped by providing flowers for “Birthday Girl.” In addition, Barbara Beuscher, an advancement officer for the UW Oshkosh’s College of Letters and Science is assisting with fundraising.

“It’s a very exciting project,” Beuscher said. “It has learning value, and that appeals to donors.”

For more information, including trailers for past films, visit  Northtown Productions at

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