Durand-Grad Produced Short Film Features Several Railroaders Alumni [VIDEO]
A short film produced and directed by 1997 Durand graduate and former classmate of mine, Chad Thompson, hit the web on Monday December 15th. The clip, entitled Victor, is described by Thompson's company, Yeah Haus, as "a short film about imagination, solitude and the sometimes blindfolded quest for happiness."
The film features several Durand alumni in various roles, including Thompson's older brother, Keith, as "Mr. Angry." You may also recognize the marching band members -- maybe not the faces, but the uniforms. The Durand band program offered Thompson the use of some vintage uniforms for use in the film. One of the band members is played by Thompson's wife, Michelle.
I had a quick Q + A with Chad about the film, which, sidebar -- is FANTASTIC.
What was the inspiration?
Honestly, the major inspiration was to try a bunch of things I’d never done. I own a small animation company and this was our first try at shooting live action. I wanted to have a fair number of scenarios that were different from my every day job doing advertisements and commercials. So, really the inspiration was to make something ‘for no practical’ reason.
How'd you choose the cast?
Ever since high school, I’ve always cast my brother Keith as the lead role in our video productions. And I use the word “cast” lightly. It was always more like “stand there, do this”. But after a decade or so in animation and TV production, I’ve met some great people so I can do some proper film-making… with pre-production and story boards and location scouts, gear etc. The rest of the cast are friends from all facets of my life -- high school, college, meeting people via the Detroit music scene, colleagues, and comedy friends. Oh, and my wife Michelle too, she’s in it (amongst other jobs of set design, storyboard artist, prop builder...)
Where did you shoot?
We shot all of the lake house and tugboat scenes at a lake house in Waterford, and the dinner party and trek-through-the-woods scenes at a greenhouse & nursery in Pontiac.
Thompson said the December 15th release date was somewhat arbitrary; mainly as the film was secondary to paid projects, but waiting to release more than a month following the film's completion in early November allowed for preparations for the release, including the official Victor - Short Film website.
Thompson added, "Kind of amazing to me that everyone would come together for a short film production with no budget and put all of the time and effort in. It's humbling to me."