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?”