Student film improves action with improv

A young man named Ken is talking on the phone with his girlfriend. He is in the process of breaking up with her. A cameraman is seen in the room documenting this unfortunate and uncomfortable conversation. The cameraman moves in closer to Ken as he finally gets the courage to inform his girlfriend that the relationship is over. After a few moments of awkward silence, Ken hangs up the phone with his now ex-girlfriend.

No this is not drama from some new reality television show on MTV, this is a behind the scenes account of Mike Weins’ film “All For You.” And believe it or not, the entire scene was improvised.

“All for You” is a feature length film that is being shot and produced by Weins, a senior in the communication program. He is producing it as a part of his senior project.

A senior project is something Castleton seniors in the communication department can do as an option to fulfill a requirement for graduation. The project can consist of doing a video, a photography project or anything else related to the communication field.

Professor Robert Gershon, ,the academic advisor for the senior project, said he is very anxious to see the final product.

“I’m delighted anytime Mike walks in the door with any idea, because pretty much every time he has an idea it’s a good one, and at the very least it’s fun to talk about,” Gershon said.

Weins explained that the story of “All For You” centers on a man meeting a homeless girl and forming a relationship with her.
The idea for the film came when Weins did an improvisation film over the summer. He liked how it came out and decided he wanted to do another one, only this time making it more of a serious drama.

“After experimenting with it, I realized that the actors can come up with better dialogue then I could ever write,” Weins said laughing.

Most of the film has been shot with two cameras to get as much coverage as possible. Weins explained that it’s easier doing it this way rather then doing multiple takes, which can take away from the natural tone Weins is trying to achieve.

During the production of the film, the improv aspect of dialogue and scenes has not only been a learning experience for the actors involved in the film, but for Weins as well.

“I’m going through this same journey where I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” he explained with a smile.

Ken Holmes, one of the stars of “All For You”, was very excited at the idea of being able to do improv.

“It’s almost like method acting, like how some actors get into the roles they are playing. Improvising is like that because you’re really in the mind set of the movie,” he said happily talking about his experience on the film.

Holmes said that by doing improv, it makes it a lot easier not to overact in the performance.

“What’s funny about it is it actually makes it easier to act in that it really feels like we are doing it.” he said.

Holmes said he can’t wait to see the film when it is finished and is even more excited to see what people’s reactions are.

“It’s a totally different experience when you’re improvising. I hope when people go to it they will be like, “‘That was a really well written movie.'”

So far, Weins said he is pleased with the way the film is coming out and says that he hopes to have production on the film complete later this month.

Once the film is completed Weins plans on premiering the film on campus and then possibly showing it in Rutland. Film festivals are also in consideration.

“This movie pretty much proves that you can make a feature length movie with practically no money,” he said. “I spent almost $60 on a feature length movie. That tells you something.

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