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The Film Club is making a new movie. In the photo (from left to right) is Emily Brickey, Maureen Martin, Sebastian Pestritto, Gabe Kot­tkamp, Stephen Pearson, Alex Buchheit (me), Alex Dulemba, Aaron Jacobson, Marc Sherman.
Not pic­tured: Sarah Haught, Apollo Mettler, Abigail Price, Trevor Leslie and George Bubenko
Courtesy | Alex Buchheit

Picture this: Sports cars whizzing down the street, special agents pro­tecting valuable per­sonnel, and dapper gen­tlemen and women sway to a viennese waltz. You might mistake the scene from “No Time to Die” or a Mission Impos­sible film, but you would be mis­taken. These are actually scenes from the Film and Pro­duction Club’s upcoming film, “The Wrath of Tomorrow.”  

Film and Pro­duction Club Pres­ident Alex Buchheit wrote the first draft for the script that would become the film club’s largest and most expensive project to date.      

“Basi­cally an evil orga­ni­zation has infil­trated a mid sized college, similar to Hillsdale, for the purpose of taking down the Sec­retary of State and causing anarchy,” Buchheit said,”It’s the job of the secret agents to take the bad guy down.”

The com­pleted script com­prises 30 pages, which will likely take about 30 minutes of film plus the beginning and end credits, according to Buchheit. 

Filming for the intro­ductory action sequence was set to begin last spring, but was halted when the college admin­is­tration sent stu­dents home in March due to the coro­n­avirus .  The club was able to resume filming this semester and has com­pleted filming for the intro­ductory action sequence.  

“We use a con­glom­erate of film tech­niques and the look we’re going for right now is Jason Bourne cin­e­matic style with more handheld camera movement to get the viewer into the action and give that gritty realism of what’s taking place,” said club sec­retary Steven Pearson.  

A large part of the six hours of film they shot for the first sequence focused on a fast paced intro­duction to the film’s main char­acter, Richard Wash­ington.  

Sophomore Gabe Kottcamp por­trays the secret agent pro­tag­onist. 

“He’s a lot like James Bond but more laissez-faire with slightly better morals,” Kottcamp said. 

Senior theatre major Sebastian Pestritto is the main acting coach for the pro­duction, and helps prepare Kottcamp for his trans­for­mation to Agent Wash­ington. 

“He has a very clear idea of what he wants so I just try to mimic him,” Kottcamp said, “I also play off him and add some of myself to the char­acter.” 

While Buchheit does not estimate the film to be com­pletely filmed until the end of t spring semester, or edited by the end of the summer, he expressed his sat­is­faction with the project thus far.  

“Two of the greatest moments so far have been the fact that we fin­ished the first scene and when we looked at the footage, we thought it was really good,” Buchheit said,”The other moment was when we got full funding from the Student Fed­er­ation, unan­i­mously.” 

“Not many clubs ask for $1500 and receive all of it; however, we put together a really good pre­sen­tation that was con­vincing.” 

Part of the arrangement between Student Fed­er­ation and the Film and Pro­duction club was that the club would have to find a storage spot on campus for all the com­munity equipment that they pur­chase, as well as film a short promo video for the Fed­er­ation.  

As the club is in a rebuilding process, one of the ultimate goals is to make the club self-suf­fi­cient with its own equipment using the funds, so that it may col­lab­orate with other clubs to make more films. 

“Spy movies like ours are popcorn flicks that are a sort of escapism,” Buchheit said, “Espe­cially now, people need an escape from the crap­piness of COVID-19. So why not lose yourself in an action flick where you can asso­ciate yourself with the good guy as he takes down the bad guy trying to destroy our way of life?”