A senior film major has brought his latest movie to life with the help of a small crew fighting against the weather, scheduling conflicts and the clock.
Chris Anderson has worked on several productions during his time at the University of Rhode Island but he discovered new challenges as he wrote, directed, edited, and starred in his new action movie, “The Scene.”
The movie will premiere this Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Swan Hall auditorium alongside other student works from film classes this semester. Anderson made an action movie two semesters ago and was excited to take another crack at the genre.
“It was really fun,” he said, commenting on his past project. “This time around I wanted to do something different.”
At first he didn’t find his classmates shared his enthusiasm for the challenge of an action film. Regardless, he was still determined to make the movie happen.
“The Scene” revolves around two men who are up for a promotion in their office. After one of the men wins the promotion for unfair reasons, the two wind up at the same bar later that evening. While the man promoted is celebrating the other is simmering, and soon enough a fight breaks out.
Anderson knew that he needed a set to film the movie because a majority of the film takes place in the bar. However, he couldn’t film a fight scene in a real bar so he went ahead and built one in the backyard of his home in Massachusetts.
“We needed a set,” he said. “My mom hated it. She thought I was building this little thing.”
It proved not to be so little. The whole set for the bar was 20 feet long by 10 feet wide with walls and a ceiling. Unfortunately, the set was knocked over during a storm two weeks into construction, and the crew had to hurry to rebuild. Thankfully, they were able to reconstruct the room with enough time to film.
The single room was essential for the films blocking and choreography. Anderson said that he needed a small location because there were five actors in the fight and he didn’t want any of their characters to be able to get away from the action.
“If you’re getting into a fight you know you probably can’t win you’re not going to stay there,” he explained. “If the locations too big then it wouldn’t seem realistic, I wanted the hero to be almost surrounded or cornered and then use the location to get out of the situation.”
Trying to schedule all of these actors to film proved to be another hurdle in the production process once the film was ready to get underway. After failing to find a time for the actors to make it to set, Anderson decided to play six of the roles himself. He wore several distinct outfits in order to distinguish the characters. Playing so many roles forced Anderson to change his entire shot list and he used his brother, Colby, as a body and stunt double.
The two brothers, along with Hans Stuting and Taylor Pilderian on camera, spent twenty four hours filming in one weekend to wrap the movie, even their professor Keith Brown went to set to help out. Despite the hiccups, the crew never let it hold them back and the movie is ready for screening this week.
“We’re here to solve problems,” Anderson said. “If we solve enough problems, you get a great movie.”
Watch “The Scene” and more original films from other URI filmmakers this Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Swan Hall auditorium.