Directed by Ian Schobel

I relish the rare opportunities to work on creative projects with absolute autonomy. Most of us interns are accustomed to developing our ideas in an academic setting, with lengthy rubrics that sometimes stifle our best ideas. JTwo’s intern project guidelines were barebones and direct: in more or less words, tell a kick-ass story, and keep it short.

Project Breakdown

From my study abroad film to a smorgasbord of videos for The Temple News, I’ve shot and edited most of my recent work through a documentarian/explanatory lens. It was time to break out of that groove and try working in fiction. I brainstormed for an hour or two and drafted a storyboard for my first pitch with Justin. My writing background betrayed me here; it lacked a concrete structure, and was just too ambitious given the two weeks I had to write, cast, direct, shoot, and edit. Putting words to paper, I’m not bound by anything but the limits of my imagination. So if I want to put a dozen on hang gliders above Dubai, it’s done. I just did it. That doesn’t exactly translate to film.

So when I left the office later that day (after pitching a completely different idea, which was also shot down) it gave me room to look at my project from a distance, and I decided I’d been approaching this the wrong way, focusing on the concept itself; instead, I should assemble the resources I’d have access to (mainly the actors and the setting) and build the idea from those pieces.

First: the talent. That was easy: it had to be AK and Liam, two of my closest friends. They’ve been best friends since high school, and they’re goofballs of the highest magnitude. I was pretty confident that if I experimented with a particular hypothetical scenario involving the two of them, they’d be down to play the roles, they’d respect me as director, and since their characters were largely based on their true selves/relationship, only minor character adjustments were required to fit them to my narrative. Next, the set: two years ago, when we were still in the dorms, AK and Liam roomed with a kid named Nick. We’ve all remained friends, and he now lives with two other guys in this kick-ass apartment (with adjustable mood lighting). The pieces now in place, I set to work on the script and shot list. We shot both scenes in one day, morning first, then night scene later. In the story, the scenes are reversed. AK and Liam took it in stride, though, and delivered a great performance. It took a few days to cut everything together, design a horror movie soundscape, play with levels, find the right music, color correct, and so on and so forth; and overall, I’m extremely pleased with the final cut of my first piece of fiction filmmaking (s/o to Alex for the super helpful C100 walkthrough). 

Meet the Director

Ian is a writer and filmmaker. He lives by a simple creed: learn the basics and find your own way. He aims to work internationally, write short story collections, and one day–teach.

This project was created as part of the JTWO [INC]ubator Project. A semester long internship program built from the ground up to give young filmmakers, content creators, and all around hungry for a challenge individuals a place to stretch their creative minds while preparing them for the road ahead.

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