Film Fest 2013 and my latest role

For my college’s annual end-of-the-semester film festival, I hoped to put together a film noir/buddy cop/pirate mashup. I still have the script, but I didn’t have the time. Instead, I worked on another project that I’ll have a post about soon.

I did manage to act in this short film, though. It won an award at the film festival.

http://vimeo.com/80807949

This marks the fourth film fest movie I’ve acted in, and the fourth one in which I’ve been a villain. Also, it’s probably the most professionally produced one that I’ve been a part of, so it’s a great capper on my college acting career.

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I Just Wrote My Epitaph

spoon river

I’m in the play this semester, a production based off of Edgar Lee Master’s 1915 collection of poems Spoon River Anthology.  It’s set in a graveyard, featuring the monologues of the deceased inhabitants of a small town. So for our bulletin, we’re doing something new: instead of a short bio, we all get to write our own epitaphs. I composed this gem of lyrical grace:

 

Here’s Adam Rowe
As dead as sin
‘Twas finals week
That did him in.

More College Life Vignettes

This year, like the last one, I’m the PR intern in charge of enlightening my college’s entire student body about recent news on a weekly basis. And just like before, I get to open with an entertaining paragraph about whatever I feel like. Here’s the Fall 2013 semester so far.

You know it's a quality college when it's got that weathered, old-photo look.

You know it’s a quality college when it’s got that weathered, old-photo look.

Week 1

Fall semester is in full swing.

That’s right, students have returned and classes are underway. Academic Convocation will be on Friday, August 30 at 10 a.m. in the Field-house. Hopefully you’re ready for the busyness of the semester to begin! Because if you’re not, well, man, I don’t know what to say to you. This is FYI. I’m Adam Rowe, and I’ll be your electronic guide to the Geneva-related events and facts that you should care about on a weekly basis. For example, I’ll be telling you stuff like this.

Week 2

Hi all,

As the fall starts up, college has changed a little: offices have moved; professors have come and gone; and the Alex’s fruit basket has moved from near the desserts to near the silverware. It’s almost too much to process. Twice already I’ve walked towards the dessert in search of an apple. My neural paths haven’t accepted the change yet. Continue reading

FYI: Spring 2013 Salutations

My college internship still requires me to email weekly news updates to all the students. And the perk of being able to open the email with whatever I feel like saying is also still required. Here’s all the different openings I used in Spring 2013, minus whichever weeks I didn’t have anything worth posting.

A college. In Spring.

A college. In Spring.

Week 3:

Week three. The beginning of our quest is behind us, and daily activities are settling into repetition. Coffee rations and morale hold steady. Rumors of a “spring break” are faint whispers, ignored in favor of a focus on the task at hand: pressing on.

Here’s the week’s news.

Week 4:

Hey all,

This semester, as you may have noticed, the Cabinet has undergone a graphic-design facelift. Our illustrious editor and friend of mine Joel Shannon (fun fact: if you pronounced that “Joelle,” he’s got two girl names!) has been composing a weekly column. I have it on good authority that his column this week will be on a topic near and dear to all our hearts: how terrible Twitter is. I therefore propose a show of solidarity on the part of those of us with Twitter accounts. We all need to get a new trend in the twittersphere: #nomorehashtags. Get to tweeting!

Week 5:

Hi guys,

I just heard about a health fair we’ve got coming up in a few months… the title is “Health Fair.” Points for being as short and sweet as a candied dwarf, but there’s something missing. “Fair” is just such a boring word when the far more exciting “expo” is available. That word basically means the same thing, but conjures up images of Coney Island dogs or tradesmen hocking wares. And someone gets to just make these event titles up. The opportunity is golden. I’m tempted to improve these titles in the news I deliver via FYI. Ah, the power! Muahahahahahahaha

Week 7:

Hi everyone,

Spring Break officially begins this Friday, March 1 at 5 p.m., and classes resume on Tuesday, March 12 at 8 a.m. All that stands between you and spring break are those terrible midterms! Which has gotten me thinking about a serious question: If I want four hours of energy but only have a five-hour energy drink and a three-hour energy drink, can I get the right amount?

Answer: only if I’ve already drunk enough energy drink to give me the energy to solve that problem. Here’s the weekly news.

Continue reading

Filmmaking Update

Last year, around this time, I made the short film Poetic Justice, about a team of famous poets in an action movie fighting Grammar Nazis. It’s here.

Observe the uncorrected fish-eye lens. Observe the poor sound quality, and occasional failures of dubbing over. Observe the lighting. It’s all poor. The acting is, over all, decent. The script, in my humble opinion, is awesome. But the film seems painfully low-rent.

It’s too sophomoric — not in the college sense of the word, since I made it when I was a junior, but you get the point. Then, I was an apprentice. A junior filmmaker, if you will. In both senses of the word, this time. Anyway. I digress. My point is, I love the script, but dislike the rest. So this spring, I’ll be remaking the film.

This is happening in tandem with another film that won’t be happening: Flux|Flow. The anime-inspired time travel story ended up being too difficult to pull together in one semester, and the guys behind it are busy themselves. I am planning on using their cinematography skills for my remake, though. And their style is pretty classy:

And none of this has anything to do with the film fest selections for this semester, which include both my buddy cop one and the Flux|Flow guys’ untitled one.

Merchant of Venice: The College Years

Ideally, all these actors would be in my adaptation, and it would be filmed in 2000.

Ideally, all these actors would be in my adaptation, and it would be filmed in 2000.

“Cut us, we bleed. Tickle us, we laugh. Screw us over, and we’ll screw you over!”

~Shy, My Adaptation

I was bored in Shakespeare class yesterday and outlined a modern-day adaptation of one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, The Merchant of Venice, as set in a college environment. Shakespeare-inspired teen comedies were turned into a fun subgenre back in the late 90s-early 00s, but I don’t think anyone has attempted a version of the play that centers around one guy trying to chop a pound of flesh out of another. The play just doesn’t work well for adaptation. Which is what makes it fun to attempt.

Dramatis Personae:

Tony – The popular, friendly, good-guy jock senior.

“Shy” – A bitter nerdy senior. Nicknamed for his quiet demeanor.

Bill – Tony’s best friend, who has just transferred from another college.

Portia – A smart, driven pre-law student. She’s looking for love, but disillusioned by the self-serving guys within her major.

Jessica – Shy’s freshman sister.

Lorenzo – A dweeby freshmen. Often teased for having a name out of Shakespeare or something.

Plot:

Shy works at the registrar’s desk, overseeing the fraternities on campus. He harbors a deep grudge against Tony, whose frat voted to keep him out back in their freshman year. When Tony comes to him to get Bill into the fraternity at short notice, Shy sees his moment for revenge: he cuts a deal. Bill’s in the fraternity, but if he can’t keep his grades up high enough to stay in, Tony must give Shy his Facebook and LinkedIn passwords — career suicide.

A sub-plot follows Bill’s romance with Portia after he wins a date with her in a contest during Greek Week. He’s the least materialistic, so she picks him. Also, Jessica starts dating Lorenzo, much to Shy’s dismay.

In the end, Bill’s grades tank, and unless he aces his last final, Tony’s career will go down in flames before it has started. Tony must appeal to the student fraternity board, where Portia masquerades as a frat member in order to qualify to defend Tony. Shy is defeated. Everyone else lives happily ever after.

I have a few loose ends to figure out… like how Portia stops Shy, or how the plots can tie together better than they do in the source material. Or how to deal with the extra ring subplot from the original play. I still need a good title. Also, I might give Shy a love interest so that it’s not a totally downer ending for him.

But, perhaps most importantly, this adaptation sets up a nice mirror of the original’s line about Shylock wanting a pound of flesh in order to bait fishhooks:

“What do you want his linkedin password for, anyway?”

“To bait phishers with.”

The Autopilot of Life

College clocks always take forever during the last ten minutes of the class.

College clocks always take forever during the last ten minutes of the class.

It’s the third week of my senior year at college.

Everyone has settled in by the third week of college. We all know just how tough our professors are in each class, and most of us can remember where we’re supposed to be at a class, job, or internship. But! That’s just the time when the rut of the semester starts to sink in.

Remember how every semester seems to breeze past once you’re at the end of it? Week three is when that running-on-autopilot feeling starts to sink in. Sure, you think it’s practically the start of the semester, but that’s the trap! It’s practically the beginning, but it’s not really, and you’ll spend a few weeks in mindless appreciation of this thought before it’s the middle of the semester, and then it’s practically the middle right up until it’s practically the end!

The only answer is to live in each week while remaining alert to your own collegiate mortality. Soon another semester will have slipped through your fingers, leaving you another day older, but with little to show for it! The only solution: you need to shake things up right now.

Volunteer for something! Research something to impress a teacher! Pile on a side project, like making a movie, playing a little tennis, working out, or running a blog! Carpe that diem!