We’re Done

 

After several weeks of back-breaking stress (mostly on my part) and struggle, “A Serious Student” is done. A few hours ahead, too, of what had been anticipated. A month or so ago, Alan told us that he was worried about us finishing and coming out with our final product; I don’t even need to tell you how many times I had said the same exact thing beforehand. We were the last crew to start shooting, Kanye was always playing on our computer (or Dan’s iPone), and we’ve dealt with every hold-up imaginable. Yet, we finished, and we finished with the exact movie we spent two weeks talking about back in December.

And let me be candid here: I don’t know how it happened.

That final day of editing was mainly fixing Audio Levels and trimming a little here and there. No scenes that were in the Final Script were cut. The Blue Page Scenes were ignored. Twenty-eight minutes and two seconds was our final product, and, while I am tired of watching it, I cannot stress enough how proud I am with the outcome.

We as a crew, decided to work on this movie because it was the movie we wanted to see. It was something I personally would have loved to watch whether or not it was in the Festival. Making it was a struggle sometimes, but in the end it was worth it. In the beginning, I was terrified about the whole idea of making this movie. The moment it was done, I felt like I could have kept going for another few months.

This being the first movie I’ve ever really worked on, I can’t put into words how rewarding it was. I love this movie. I love watching it. I love watching people watching it. That’s probably the coolest thing ever. I accidentally showed Jackie an extra scene before his part, and his reaction made all of the difficulty in making this movie worth it.

I can’t wait for people to see this film in May. I can’t wait to see all the movies. I am always overly excited for the Festival, but now I have just reason to be. It was a pleasure working on this movie; it was a pleasure working with these people.

All in all, making this movie has changed me immensely. A small part of me is relieved that I have a few months break from the stress; the remaining majority can’t wait for next year.

Advertisements

Coming Together

 

All of a sudden things are coming together. The past few weeks have been extremely stressful as we are trying to make up lost time and be sure the movie is finished; but, ever since we shot with Connor, we have been trying our hardest to shoot as much as possible.

After several failed attempts, we finally got the first scene done. I have written on here before that I was really excited about this scene, and I will say it again. I think out of the entire (wonderful) script, the first scene really defines the film, and seeing it almost finished has brought a new vigor back into the crew. It’s clear now that we may have something really special on our hands. Unfortunately, the scene will not be available to any non-Cranberries until the Festival.

We have started to shoot the last scene, too, which we have left open-ended until now. We came up with a very cool idea of having Larry go back through the school after everything has really fallen apart. I can see it very clearly, and we are all very excited. Ryan especially is rocking this part. He came up with a great shot sequence of Mary and Biff and is really turning into a great director.

Yesterday, with the help of a few wonderfully patient and kind extras, we were able to shoot a massive chunk of the movie. The Physics scenes. And yes. Jungbin Lim really showed his acting chops although he was working with borderline racist material. But all the extras were wonderful. Our Baby Wrangler and Script Supervisor Luke Witherall helped out a little while also. With the exception of the slight hiccup on my part for forgetting to put on the mic for the last bit, I think we have some great footage.

As we keep trudging along, things are getting much better. We’ve dealt with every problem imaginable this year and it has been far from smooth sailing; and yet, I feel sad knowing that it’s all coming to a close soon with the Due Dates being given tomorrow. But there’s no time to look that far ahead. We still have a lot to shoot- two more big scenes to tackle- and then that’s it. The rest will be rendered in the Editing Room.

A Slight Insight into the Chaos of Cranberry

 

This past week, things have been really picking up. We started shooting with Mr. Connor, who is a professional. He delivered the lines perfectly and exactly how I pictured them, and overall, I think the scene will come together nicely. We’re finishing up Dan’s lines for the scene today after school (hopefully). After that, we just need to get a few more shots with Jackie, and the Rex Sequences will be complete.

I think out of the entire movie, those Rex scenes are probably my favorite. Perchance is it simply because I am obsessed with the Dentist Story in the original. Anyways, I am confident that they will come out looking great. I just can’t wait to see them come together after editing.

We’re shooting with Hahn tomorrow, if everything works out as planned. Once we get the Vice Principals done, we just have a little bit more to shoot- all of which doesn’t involve any faculty. There’s still hope. We went through a little bit of a rut, but we are coming back slowly. Ryan has been busy editing everyday after school, and at this point, I believe he is nearly done with the first half from what we have shot anyways.

I just marked up and highlighted the script for all we’ve done so far. We sadly have to cut two scenes already due to scheduling, and also their lack of necessity. I don’t know if they are truly off the table, but there is a high chance you may not be able to see Ms. Bucklin tossing babies into boxes.

Anyways, signing off.

Buzz

 

Cranberry’s crusade for an Alan Award is not done! In a story that reeks with irony, Dan Meyers, who plays the constantly-ignored, wannabe director in Cranberry’s Crusade, is now at the helm of this heady film. Meyers poses a triple threat in the vein of Fast Jimmy Gillon: writer, actor, and director. We all knew he had the acting chops (Crusade and Mister Sister); yet, this script took me by surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I have prodigious faith in Meyers as a writer (in fact, I had to plead with him and ultimately threaten his life so he would finally sit down and write it); however, when he finally did finish it, I knew he had something special and unique. It captures the subtle irreverence of Meyers’ personality and fuses it with an astute exploration of identity and fate. Such a deep script is not the norm in the film festival—we like our cross-dressing- faculty jokes! As a result, only those members of Film who “got it” are a part of the crew. This has resulted in a small but dedicated crew, lead by Erin Batchelder and Ryan Erwin. Batchy is quickly becoming a tour-de-force junior director. She handles the camera and keeps the crew organized. The talented Luke Witherell, Colby Locke, and Carolyn Nascimiento round off the crew. These guys are certainly going for it. They not only want the audience to laugh along with their characters, but they want to get across a larger existential message. If they succeed in connecting with the audience to go along with the ride, watch out. Cranberry may finally be on stage. However, if they need to pass out cliff notes to the Academy, they could be in trouble. Keep in mind, Nick and crew’s films were exoteric; this film is esoteric—as in, it may only be fully accessible to those viewers who know the definition of both exoteric and esoteric.

Buzz: Grande Caffè Americano

MUSIC TRIVS:

Pound for pound this could be one of the best Trivs crew I have seen—up there with The Mathlete. Meyers, Luke, Erwin, and Batchy all know their music—I mean these guys listen to everything. And they are quick. Their real expertise is modern folk and alternative. They can give up the occasional classic rock to Maloney, but they get three obscure artists for every popular artist that they lose. They also have Colby Locke and Ally Russo, who may not know the breadth of music the other four know, but they each have a niche of music they know well that compliments the team. This is the team to beat.

The Abacuses have been brought out

 

As Dan, the world-class diva, hangs out across the border in good old Mexico, Ryan and I have been busy shooting with the Abaci. Ever since the shift from yellow calculators to beads, this whole sequence has been highly anticipated. We shot it 60 frames per second- the first in the Festival (although Cherry accidentally shot the second).

We got into room 1333 acquiring the help of Derek and Casey to shoot on three cameras. A lot of the shots were pretty straight-forward. Shattering the Abacus was a little more difficult than we planned. We had to unscrew it so that it was barely put together, and drop it from about ten feet so it would hit the floor and explode beads. It took us a few tries to get it just right- even a re-shoot- but I think we’ve got some gold. Beads ended up all over the place, causing us to lose 13 in the process. Most of which were yellow.

For the opening sequence, I had the idea of mimicking the Coens in showing yellow beads fall in slow motion across a black backdrop. So we tried to get that, which was more difficult than we thought it would be. But we still have time to try out different things. Perchance dropping them in water, or finding a non-textured/non-reflective surface to roll them on.

Anyways, we’ve got a lot done without Dan. Completely destroying our Abacus several times has been fun times, but we’ve got a lot of stuff left to shoot. We’ll see if Dan can make it in tomorrow.

Also, we’ve been owning on Trivs. We’re currently at 91, getting seventeen points between Ryan and I today.

Nietzche, Principles, and Jackie Gately

 

I apologize for our lack of blogs; it’s been an extremely hectic past few weeks. We’re shooting a little bit of everything right now. Detention Scenes, Hall Monitor Scenes, Rex Scenes. We’ve been fortunate, most of all, to land Jackie Gately as Rex. He braved +3.5 drugstore glasses in order to play this role- and that’s some major dedication, man.

The Cranberry Crew has also grown this past. We’ve gone from a four-man band to a nine-man band in only a few weeks. Chris Boran has signed on as an Assistant Director, and we’ve got Jungbin. That’s right. Jungbin Lim. Right now, I would simply designate him as out philosophical consultant, but we’ll try to get him fully on board soon. It’s good to get some new blood. Working on this movie, it’s been getting frustrating lately with all the little problems we’ve been having. Talking to people who are extremely excited about the movie and fresh.

I finished a fun little spiel on Nietzche for our scenes with Jackie. As an amatuer literary and philoso-nerd, its cool to read this movie and see existentialism seeping out of every nook and cranny. In fact, the whole herd mentality goes perfectly with the whole film. I’ll stop being boring.

Right now, we’re just scheduling and working on getting stuff done. I just ordered the Principles after several failed attempts over the past few days. Dan and Boran are out shooting with Jackie.

Valentine’s Blog

We have been filming so much lately that we have been neglecting the Blog. Last week alone we shot about five scenes, which is crazy. We shot some great stuff with Balkus featuring a peeing Barry that inspired much hilarity. But most of all we snagged the big scene with the anarchist.

The making of the Principal’s Principles was a little bit of a struggle for us. We had two giant sets of the Principles made. I had to go to Walmart at nine o’ clock at night to buy spray paint (technically illegally). Then I spent a fun morning tagging that business up in front of judgmental trash-men. They ended up coming out great, and all the footage is looking good.

At this point, we have finished shooting all the scenes without faculty, except for those with the Abacus. We’re hoping to get that done over February Break. That means some major damage will be done to our good friends the Abacoi.

Let’s see. Jess and Darci were great as Girl 1 and Girl 2. We have fallen upon some great extras- ie. Alex Taurone, Shocked Students, and The Crying Boy. Overall, we’re moving along with a little it of clumsiness in the mix.

I wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day.

Love, Cranberry.