Here is the screenplay and video to a short film that I created back in college. It was my senior thesis project since I went to the University of Wisconsin-Stout to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Entertainment Design with a focus in Digital Cinema. It took two whole semesters to create this project from just an idea that popped into my head, but overall it was such an amazing experience!
At the time, I was reading a particular book: “Party” by Tom Leveen (my actual review is linked) and the idea for this project really began to take place based off what I liked about this book. It was a simple idea that had depths added to it with being told from multiple perspectives, and the drama was realistic and relatable to where I was in life at the time. Very soon after that, I had a script written.
The title certainly changed from my original title (thank god – literally), and after that was when it was time to start the next big part of the project: casting and location scouting. Now, despite how it would seemingly be anyone’s dream to be in a movie, it’s incredibly difficult to convince college students—especially those in their later years—to commit to such a big project like this one. I’d had to deal with a few rejections and last minute cancellations, but by December of 2016 after scouring the campus for a house and a cast of actors, I did thankfully obtain both!
By this time, Winter Break was upon us to give us all a break after finals and to be home and enjoying the much needed R&R, well most of us did at least! Right before the Spring semester started, we had our first official day of filming! It was my first time fully directing a film, and with my main actors along with a small group of extras and crew members, I can admit I was a little bit in over my head! it wasn’t the smoothest day of filming to start, but we did still get plenty of great footage and it taught me what to expect for next time and how to work with all that was happening at these shoots. Below are a few photos of the day that were taken by Miranda Wipperfurth, a good friend and an amazing photographer:
As the final semester was upon me, filming continued throughout a large chunk of those months. Graduation was quickly approaching for most of us, and so most of us had our own priorities to worry about, but I couldn’t say thank you enough to those who stuck with the project and worked around it as best we could. It was humbling and absolutely heartwarming to have people who were willing to help me out in something that was obviously so important to me. Honestly, the project wouldn’t have been possible if not for the help of literally everyone involved!
Soon enough, filming was actually completed, and onto the next step of the process: editing the footage to bring it all together. It required countless hours in front of a computer screen and looking over footage again and again until everything from audio to color correction all looked up to standard. It was probably my least favorite part of the whole process. After a while, I also had to worry about marketing for the project too. I had to get people hyped about it and want to see it!
One thing that was really eye-opening was learning about royalty free music. I couldn’t just toss Sammy Adams or Mackelmore onto the audio to play during the party scenes, so I had to do a lot of searching on YouTube for songs that are free to use:
I also hired a close friend of mine to design the official poster for the project (see below), and I had some time to squeeze in to throw together a quick trailer. With so many people who were friends, they wanted to see what it was starting to look like, so there’s also a trailer that I shared to them:
It was getting a lot of buzz by this point, but not everyone would’ve been able to see it at the Senior Showcase. Someone then gave me the idea to maybe have a sneak peak showing at our favorite local bar, The Abbey Pub and Grub! The owner, also named Abbey, was amazing and so kind to let me play my project on the projector out on the back patio:
A few weeks later was the big show: Senior Showcase! It was the night before graduation, and everyone’s friends and family was there to see how our projects turned out. Posters were printed off, a process book was binded, and lots of energy drinks were drunk in order to keep me from passing out due to exhaustion! This was a part of the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Art & Design Senior Showcase for May 2017.
Here is the project’s synopsis:
It’s Friday night in a typical college town which means one thing; students all over are going to parties, getting drunk, and making poor life decisions! For three seniors specifically though, its going to be so much more than that.
Shy game designer, Zach Gunderson, has never even been to a party before, but wants to get out of his shell and stop being a wallflower
Jared Mikaelson is a star athlete on a full ride scholarship and his future is looking bright, so why is he going on a destructive drinking binge?
Allison Devereux is her Sorority president and the “it” girl on campus. Her boyfriend broke up with her over a text message a week ago, and has been MIA ever since. She plans to go to the party to confront him and get some answers, but the reality is; is she ready to hear them?
Drama and storylines intertwine and collide in my Senior Capstone Project “Thank God It’s Friday!”
Feel free to message me or reach out if you have any questions or want to give out any feedback! I’m always happy to listen!
Here is the Script:
Here is the Final Video Project:
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell