Okay, so this wasn't the first little production I ever worked on (I'll tell you about that one some day), but it was the first one I ever produced in film school.
This was our second Film Gym project. We split off into three groups and had to work with the same script. The idea was to see how three different groups would interpret that same script. Unfortunately I don't have the other two at hand, I just have the one I produced.
The director and I worked hard on this one. First I cast my long time friend, and talented actress, Jennifer L. Anderson in the role of the mother. Then the director and I agreed to cast an actor who's done a lot of shorts for the school named J.R. Starr as the father. Finally, after calling several actresses, we cast Carla Culberson as the daughter, Lauren. I was worried, it took a very long time to cast her. Then we were faced with another interesting scenario, Jennifer is Caucasian while J.R. and Carla were both African-American. That led to a little on set re-working of the dialogue to say that Jennifer was the step-mother... the trophy wife. We have Lauren call her stepmother "mom" when she's sucking up, then slip into real names after. There was no real name in the script, so we used Jennifer's real name. What can I say, it's a nice name?
We arrived at 6am, and started shooting at 7am. We didn't finish until around 11:15am. We had two sets. One that we built in a storage closet, and the parking lot. Well, enough talking, here it is:
I thought it turned out rather well, the cast did well. The crew did well. We all worked quite well together, I think. It was fun.
Bill and I sat in the editing room for a while with this, experimenting. I forget whose idea it was to run the dialogue over the credits. But I loved it.
So, when the three groups showed this in class, the other two groups interpreted the script as a drama. While we played it as a comedy. Now, there is no right or wrong way to interpret it, every group is different. But what also interested me is how the dynamics were interpreted. Some saw the (step)mother character as the villain of the piece and played it that way. Actually, that's how our director originally wanted to play her, but we went more neutral. Some thought the step-mother was a bitch, and some thought Lauren was a little blood sucker. What do I think? Well, I have to let the work speak for itself.
I worked on a few more projects, but sadly they've been lost to the sands of time... and YouTube accounts were removed. But I have more stories to tell.