It was the first day of shooting on a capstone film project for seven film production students at the C.S. Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg.
The schedule was tight as they blocked out a scene inside Shoes Cup & Cork Club, and here and there a short disagreement would break out.
Largely, the students handled the challenge with the mental flexibility one might expect from a high school student, and they quickly moved outside to shoot Spencer Seda, 18, a senior at Heritage High School, as he stumbled from the restaurant’s door.
Kevin Williams, 17, a junior at Tuscarora High School, and Matt Petitt, 17, a junior at Freedom High School, wrote the script for “Funny Time,” the story of a public access cable producer and his friend’s strange adventures, only a week ago. “It’s sort of a dark comedy,” Seda said.
The team had to hurry production on the 15-minute film because seniors would only be in school for another week, and they planned to film every day this week until it was complete. “We threw it together at the last minute,” Pettit said.
Everyone had a different role to play in today’s production. Brittan Dyer, 16, a junior at Heritage, was doing sound. Christian Kleinsmith, 17, a junior at Tuscarora, Williams and Seda were acting. Michael Encinias, 18, a senior at Broadrun is producing the project, and J. J. Gagliardi, 18, a senior at Loudoun County High School served as teaching assistant for Gary Hawke, the students’ instructor at C. S. Monroe.
Despite having to do a lot of on-the-project training, occasionally forgetting equipment and having to cram a lot into the final week, students said they were picking up their skills quickly. “I think we’re getting the feel of it now,” Williams said.
The team plans to post the video on YouTube and enter it in film festivals. “We’ll push it out,” Petitt said.