Day 106: Unusual Suspects

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April 15, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

If you haven’t caught on by now, I like student films.  Not because they’re the best films ever made; not because the acting is superb, the editing is smooth, the effects are mind-blowing or the plots are intricate and intense – though more often than I expect, they’re all those things and more.  No, I find student films magical for the stories behind the camera as much as those on screen.  To me, young filmmakers still struggling to practice and prove themselves are some of the most genuine story-tellers there are, and I think it shows.  It’s not some act of charity that drives me to support student films – it’s an investment.  The rough cuts and early years of a filmmakers work are building blocks for a career in cinematic creativity.  I love getting behind filmmakers at this stage, because these are the formative years – they’re not yet set in stone, and they set the stage and carry lasting lessons, and they’ll be remembered forever by the artists, actors, producers and directors as “the good old days” before they made it big.  Today’s project is one to remember.

Holding Cell is the capstone project of film students at Emerson College.  Jeremy Sender, Ellen Dickson and David Fonseca have assembled a cast and crew of ambitious young talent from around campus in order to produce a short comedy about five people getting to know each other during a night behind bars.

“Holding Cell” is the story of five criminals: Charlotte Goodman, Joe Irving, Sadie Bishop, Gary Williams, and Marvin Potts. Charlotte is an activist who can’t distinguish the line between her first amendment rights and harassment. Joe is an 18-year-old frat guy who desperately tries to overcome his fear of beer. Sadie is an animal lover who will go to any means necessary to fulfill her childhood dream of owning a puppy. Gary is a big time bank robber who thinks that simply using a gun is cliché. Marvin is the neighborhood hobo who claims that he robbed a lady after helping her give birth. The film follows the hilarious circumstances of how each of these characters come together one night in a holding cell.

Ah, prison stories.  The humor of the situation might be lost behind the prison door, but it’s hard not to laugh at sordid tales of crime and capture.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of this project and I’m pleased to help in kickstarting the careers of a bunch of tomorrow’s movie makers.  You can join me and get a taste for a life of crime too by backing “Holding Cell” before April 25.


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