BU FYSOP 2013 Closing Ceremony Film

There’s an essential fear that almost everyone experiences in their lifetime when entering a new part of their life. You don’t know what’s happening next; you don’t know what’s going to come of what new era you’re stepping in to.

It’s all a horror movie, really. That’s the idea myself and two other BU students took into account when we were asked by BU’s Director of Development Dr. Beverly Brown to produce and star in a short film to provide new students with upperclassmen advice, tips, tricks, and warnings about entering the university.

The result was a lot of fun to create. After filming all around campus, giving insight into different programs, activities, or ways of life, I applied multiple lighting effects at every turn to turn the university into…well, that’s a spoiler alert!

Watch:

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XOXO, Rhett: A Sketch Comedy

Part of my position as a Program Advisor for BU Orientation this summer was to be the Skit Director, a job that required me to write and direct a 30 minute sketch comedy to be performed 5 times for 4,400 incoming BU students.

Thus, “XOXO, Rhett” was born.

It tells the story of Kyle fighting to keep his secret safe, but needs the help of fairy god-doggie Rhett once Gossip Girl threatens to reveal his secret to all of BU’s campus. Of course there’s a dance sequence thrown in there for good measure, as well.

But the creation of Kyle’s story definitely was not formed so easily. At first, Kyle was going to stuck on BU’s campus, finding that all of the buildings were disappearing by some imaginable power, and he would have to find some sort of central control on campus to stop the destruction.

However, that felt too dystopian and the world has seen too much of that on the big screen and in itself recently. I decided to stray away from a “theme,” per se, and focus on the individual that Kyle always was to me: insecure, scared, filled with latent talents, and harboring confidence way beneath the surface of his skin. The struggle was, how can I create a world for Kyle that can showcase all of that, and still be relatable to the new BU students that were going to watch his journey as he got to campus? He couldn’t be a wimp, but he also couldn’t instantly be this macho character everyone fell in love with.

I decided on giving Kyle a secret superpower. That way, he could in need of being confident but still too insecure to let anyone in the knowing of his secret. It directly mirrors anyone’s first year at college, as any student has hidden, amazing talents (or, “superpowers”) but don’t exactly know if people will accept them for who they are.

The obvious threat to this situation is obviously the possible reveal of Kyle’s power. I won’t delve into the plotline, as that would spoil the whole show! However, the creation of Gossip Girl felt like a relatively powerful and additional evil that all students could relate to. Whether you’ve seen the show or not, practically everyone has heard a reference to Gossip Girl. She’s a gossip menace, the last thing Kyle wants to deal with.

The whole peak to this mountain comes with the final dance routine, set to a song I again won’t spoil here (sorry!) but fits the situation perfectly. Turns out, even Gossip Girl has her own secret. I thought this would send a powerful (and entertaining) message that, again, everyone has their own hidden talents and fears, and confidence only comes from embracing them. Communicating them. Being you.

(There are more animations and inserts that the YouTube footage doesn’t cover, as there were large screens next to the stage to portray them, and obviously not everything could fit on the stage.)

I just want to thank my cast and crew from the bottom of my heart for making this possible, most especially my Director of Orientation, Shiney James, for giving me the opportunity to put a bit of my heart onto that stage. Everyone worked enormously hard to get to this final product, and I think it damn well paid off.

Written, casted, directed, and produced by Chris Roys.
Filmed by Jim Russell and Tami Gabriely. Edited by Jim Russell.
Animations and inserts filmed & edited by Chris Roys and Jim Russell.

KYLE performed by Michael Aniolek
RHETT performed by Ally Dawson
GOSSIP GIRL performed by Jessie Torrance
PETER performed by Ross Huston
CHELSEA performed by Quanesha Boykins
LAUREN performed by Francesca Coveno
ZACH performed by Swanson Ninan
COUGAR performed by Sam Sarkisian
DEAN ELMORE performed by Dean Elmore
MS. DARCY performed by Jenna Blinkinsop
BATSY performed by Jesann Prashaw
PROFESSOR performed by Joe Reed
LIAM performed by Zach Costello
ZANE performed by Grant Bachhuber
JESS performed by Hillary Caplan
COOPER performed by Sam Hoffman
DANCERS
Michael Aniolek, Ally Dawson, Ross Huston, Quanesha Boykins, Francesca Coveno, Swanson Ninan, Sam Sarkisian, Jessie Torrance, Jesann Prashaw, Hillary Caplan, Sam Hoffman, Haejee Park, Nicolette Maggiolo, Lauren Bufe, Stephanie Gianni, Meg Poulin, Collin Kelly, Mike Parello, Jamie Bloom, Dani Rives, Gina Vitentti, Erin Snyder, Natalie Russo, Annie DuBois, Elizabeth Agneta, Jeray Thelwell, Stephanie Hill, Rachel Jensen, Kerissa Kow, Jun Tsuboike, Paige Machado, Sarang Shah, Kate Aspinwall
PARTIERS
Rachel Jensen, Kerissa Kow, Jun Tsuboike, Paige Machado, Sarang Shah, Thomas Andrews, Jean Carlos DeJesus, Mike Parello, Jamie Bloom, Dani Rives, Gina Vitentti, Erin Snyder, Natalie Russo, Annie DuBois, Elizabeth Agneta, Jeray Thelwell, Stephanie Hill, Collin Kelly
CROWD WALKERS
Nicolette Maggiolo, Allen Li, Lauren Bufe, Mariah MacKenzie, Tom Honsinger, Nicole Enriquez, Alex Bruno, Tate Gieselmann, Hersh Bendre, Beata Coloyan, Stephanie Gianni, Meg Poulin
CHOREOGRAPHY: Jesann Prashaw, Haejee Park
RUNNERS Mariah MacKenzie, Paige Machado, Mo Brodeur, Ghita Benslimane

Beat Goes On: A Short Film

My most recent short film was actually filmed and produced in September of 2012 while I was studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, but YouTube prevented me from sharing it with the world. But now I’m finally able to share it with you all!

“Beat Goes On” depicts the story of a, shall we say, nomadic female who survives on publicly playing the drums, um, badly. Like, really badly. Played by my good friend Lindsay Kirk, the drummer meets a passerby, played by myself, who takes an interest in her that the drummer misinterprets as something more.

Soundtracked by two of my favorite songs, Norah Jones’ “Good Morning” and Sky Ferreira’s 2012 breakout single “Everything Is Embarrassing,” this lil film became the beautiful art I never actually intended to make. I found that making “Beat Goes On” involved a much harder look at how an edit can affect the entire emotional scope of the project. Because of this, the drummer’s sad fate becomes a lot more upsetting than I originally intended. In a good way.

I know I’m biased, being the director of the whole film, but I always feel empathetic for the drummer. Everyone’s experienced being led on by someone.

But, you know, the heartbeat always goes on.

Video: Beat Goes On

Date Uploaded: September 27, 2012

Note: The film is blocked practically everywhere on YouTube, but I put the link underneath the Vimeo link just in case you want to see if it works.

The Drama in Illumination: “The Falling” Short Film

My final Production I project was to create a full blown short film, no longer than 8 minutes if I recall correctly.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I have a bad habit of acting in my own movies because I never feel as though I get across my messages to actors clearly enough to achieve the movie I want. This influenced the making of this film as well. Over 2011’s Thanksgiving break, I filmed myself, and two of my best friends (both of whom featured in Spectrum as well, if you look back).

I love flashbacks, and used that as a narrative vehicle to tell my story of a near-death experience.

Okay, near-death is a bit over exaggerated…but isn’t that what film is sometimes about? The extremes? No? Yes?

I’m talking to myself again, aren’t I?

In any case, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with “The Falling” as I always do. This is one of my favorites.

Video: “The Falling” Short Film (Boston University Production I Final Film) | Canon T2i

Date Uploaded: December 8, 2011

Things Aren’t Always As You Hear: “Hallway Where?” Short Film

My first semester as a BU sophomore included taking Production I as a class. Our second assignment of the class was to create a short film simply using sound to tell a story. We had to create the soundscape first, and THEN film the visuals.

Tricky. I decided to go ahead and make sounds that you would normally hear, and distort them. For instance, touching a wall usually creates no sound at all. But I wanted to create sounds this time for when that interaction happened.

The story thus goes, in my finished project “Hallway Where,” that a guy wakes up in a narrow hallway in an unusual world. Every time he tries to leave the hallway, he gets zapped back to his starting place. He can’t leave. As he continually tries to leave…well, you’ll see how the end turns out…

You’ve been warned! Don’t get too lost in this one.

Video: Hallway Where? Short Film (Soundscape Project)

Date Uploaded: November 4, 2011

STOP SMOKING ALREADY…But Really: a PSA

My first semester at Boston University involved a mandatory communications class called COM101. One assignment we had was to show how a wordless argument conveys its message without using words. You could choose an advertisement or some sort of vehicle for the assignment, but I decided to create my own video for it.

I noticed that many more people smoke in cities than back home…so I focused on creating a PSA about second-hand smoking, using one of my roommates and another friend, Kendall.

It’s nothing special, but I love good dramatic nonsense. This is that nonsense.

Nonsense that got me an A! (Sorry, that was very conceited of me.)

Video: Second-Hand Smoking PSA

Date Uploaded: October 2, 2010

Note: The video is blocked in Germany. My apologies fellow Germans. Not that I have anyone from Germany reading my website…at all. Just throwing it out there.

The Mountain’s Summit: Applying to NYU Tisch

New York City + filmmaking = gold. Gold = New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

There’s absolutely no question about it: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts holds the best film program on the east coast. Nothing else to say about that. It’s the truth, because no other east coast school allows for such hands on learning from the start. The school was my goal when I started looking at colleges in 2008. It was the first one I’d ever been interested in.

The application for Tisch involves a creative portfolio, including a dramatic essay, a creative resume, and a submission of a short film less than 10 minutes long. This was the school I wanted to go to more than anything. The chance to live in the Big Apple wouldn’t ever come so easily to me ever again. Now or never.

That meant I had to go all out with everything I had learned from teaching myself Sony Vegas, the non-linear editing program I use. My main interest lay in television, so I focused on creating a pilot, if you will, for a television show. Up until this point in my career, I hadn’t ever really used other actors besides my family and myself in my videos because I just didn’t trust other people to understand the vision I was going for. To this day, I still have a hard time with it. If I do ever become a director one day, it’s going to be my biggest fault: not believing in the actors.

But this project opened my eyes to the possibilities. And I knew I couldn’t make a video for my application without using other actors. I took a leap of faith, and Spectrum was born.

The end of March came, bringing my decision with it. I was accepted. Freaking ACCEPTED.

And now you question me: “Uhhh…dude, you’re at Boston University. What gives?”

What gives? How about NYU Tisch’s $60,000 tuition? How about their highest financial aid packages only offering $9,000 in aid that’s not federal loans? Who the hell can pay for that and live after those four years?

I sound bitter. I’m not. Maybe only five percent bitter. More bitter towards private universities and their ease in sucking the money out from under people’s feet. No…on the contrary, Boston University was the best choice, in the end – money aside. I wouldn’t be in Australia right now if it weren’t for BU. I wouldn’t have the amazing friends I have. I wouldn’t be executive producing a student-run television show. I wouldn’t have the most incredible internship at ZSPACE, learning 3D animation and motion graphics, if not for BU.

This whole video application process was simply a learning experience. You don’t have to go to the best schools to get the best real-life experiences. You don’t need the best to become great at what you do.

So, NYU, thank you. Ranting over: let’s watch Spectrum.

Video: Spectrum: ACCEPTED NYU Tisch Portfolio Film

Date Uploaded: April 2, 2010

Note: The video is blocked in Germany. My apologies fellow Germans. Not that I have anyone from Germany reading my website…at all. Just throwing it out there.

I WANT MY PRESENTS NOW: Christmas Morning

You may hate when Christmas starts to pop up around the beginning of November, when Thanksgiving hasn’t even graced us yet. But let’s be honest, there are worse things in the world, am I right or am I right?

That said, I took a break from the final season of my series Missing (mainly to figure out my storyline issues) to film a short, fun Christmas film. Everyone knows the stress the holidays bring. Everyone knows how everyone forgets everything this time of year. Everyone knows that feeling of anticipation the night before…food, presents, family, friends, joy…there’s nothing to beat it.

So I put all of that in one two minute film. That still makes me laugh to this day. And I’m not just saying that.

Well, maybe I am. Let me check.

Nope, I’m in love. Find out for yourself. Christmas is here:

Video: Christmas Morning

Date Uploaded: December 5, 2009