Team S'mores presents 'Candy Land'
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 21:09
Popular to watch and fun to make references to, movies and their influences are inescapable. Consider the phrase, “Make my day,” from Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry,” the ending of “Titanic” and the entire empire built on Chuck Norris and Mr. T jokes. Without film, integral parts of pop culture would not exist.
Most are satisfied with simply watching movies. Some individuals, such as senior broadcasting major Bob Anderson, turn their enjoyment into a desire to create films. Though Anderson has viewed wide array of films, he draws most of his inspiration from real life.
“My inspiration comes from all around me. I use real life events, things that happen to me, conversations I’ve had and things I’ve seen happen to me,” Anderson said.
In May, Anderson found like-minded PUC students and together they entered The 48 Hour Film Project, a film festival in Chicago. According to the project’s website, over an 11-year span, 19,000 films have been made from the 278,000 participants worldwide.
No ordinary festival, The 48 Hour Film Project consists of all entrants utilizing the same prop, character, and one line of dialogue. The only variable is the genre, which each team selects from a deck of cards. The teams then have only two days to write a script, shoot and edit a movie. Anderson, whose many duties included being the director of photography, recalls the challenges he and his team faced.
“I got five to six hours of sleep over a period of three days, while our executive producer, business man and brains behind the operation, Alex Srednoselac, squeezed in two hours of sleep over the same time frame,” Anderson said.
Srednoselac, who produced the film, was responsible for the actual filmmaking as well as for choosing the roles of the rest of the team. Confidant in the work Anderson has done in the past, Srednoselac left the creative aspects of the film to the aspiring filmmaker.
“I wanted to give him the responsibility of the entire look of the film,” Srednoselac said. “He did an excellent job under the circumstances that we had.”
This year, the prop was a stapler. The character was a trainer, Charlie Greenwich, and the line of dialogue was “That’s one way of doing it.” Anderson’s group, also dubbed Team S’mores, received the dark comedy card from the stack.
“The prop, character and one line of dialogue were the least of my concerns,” Srednoselac said. “I believe that if you are creative enough, nothing is impossible.”
Although the working conditions proved difficult with tight time constraints, many of the actors and much of the production team were unable to get time off work. In some cases, this resulted in team members working a midnight shift and going directly into filming or rehearsing lines.
After the two days concluded, Anderson’s group submitted their film, “Candy Land.”This candy land, however, differs from the innocent childhood board game. Anderson said the film mirrors how some of the simplest pleasures can become destructive forces when misused, and how even the most mundane acts have the ability to become momentous under the right conditions.
Candy Land’sfirst premiere was Aug. 2 at the Patio Theater on Irving Park Road in Chicago, which hosted a four-day film competition.
“It was well received,” Anderson said. “There was a good turnout.”
The attendance at the second premiere Aug. 11 at Center Lounge, his aunt’s bar in Whiting, Ind., surprised Team S’mores. The group expected a handful of people to show up, but nearly 100 people ended up being in the audience, leaving standing-room only. If enough interest exists, Anderson said he and the team would be open to having another premiere of the movie.
Though “Candy Land” did not receive any awards from the contest, Srednoselac was proud of what Team S’mores accomplished.
“This is a huge competition in not only Chicago, but in different parts of the entire world,” Srednoselac said. “Most people can’t do in several months what we did in two days.”
Anderson said the transition from dreaming dreams to making movies was surreal.
“This is the only career I want,” Anderson said. “Don’t give up on your dreams, and don’t let criticism control you.”
With a budget of only $135, the group utilized their local resources to get the job done, relying on thrift stores for costumes and fellow students for actors. The editing software used was Final Cut Pro.
Anderson said he feels there are two levels of filmmaking. The first level consists of big-budget blockbusters and the other is comprised of tight-budget, small-screen ventures.
“It is your passion that makes it work,” Anderson said, referencing how a film can be completed with limited resources.
Currently taking a break from production, Anderson said he is putting school first. However, he is still thinking about future projects.