Action! …And Cut!
When you read about making movies, no one ever really focuses on the full days, the multiple takes, and the absolute need for consistency throughout.
But on “Shooting Day,” the students in the TV + Movie Industry Focus Program discover exactly how important even the smallest detail can be. And how much fun it can be, once you figure out just how filmmakers can make magic happen on screen.
“Don’t touch your arm,” Laurie Goldstein tells Jo, one of the TV + Movie Industry Focus Program students. “We have to make sure the glitter matches how it looked in that last shot.”
Jo and Ross are outside the Jewitt Art Center, filming a pivotal and poignant scene about a boy, Max, who wants to recant the wishes he made to a genie. Ross plays Max, and Jo is the genie who ultimately helps him realize that he didn’t need those wishes to make his life better in the first place.
It’s a story of a boy who meets a girl and falls for her, but has to contend with a rival. A more popular rival. So what’s a boy to do? Find a magic bottle, summon a genie, and start the wishing.
Written by Laurie Goldstein — a Hollywood producer who’s helming the TV + Movie Industry Focus Program and the day’s shoot — the screenplay is a sweet story about love and being true to yourself. Called “Did I Dream of Genie?” it’s the perfect story for a group of 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students to dive into.
“As one of the main characters,” Ross says, “I’m really nervous, but I’m also really excited. It’s such a strange thing to play someone who has some of your characteristics, but who ultimately is a completely different person than you. And you have to kind of become that person so quickly, and figure out how to make it believable. I never realized how hard actors had to work, and how much went into making a movie. It’s hard work! But it’s really fun.”
In the days prior to shooting, the students went through screenplay readings, casting auditions, scene storyboarding, and location scouting. Not to mention choosing and procuring costumes, props, and set decorations. And on the day in question, learning just how many shots go into making an action — the dousing of three girls with a cup of water — look like an accident.
Behind the camera or in front of it, blocking shots or capturing close-ups, these students are loving the art of making movies.
Story + Photo by Lisa Merlini