Benjamin Andrew threw caution — and headshots — to the wind when casting the experimental film project he shot at improvised locations across Penn State’s campus.
That’s something worth keeping in mind should you plan on attending the premiere, scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Palmer Museum of Art. If at any point the performances start to feel a little uneven or if it starts to feel like Andrew just populated his cast list with whoever happened to be walking down the street at the time — good call.
The shooting was kind of like a work of public art.
“The shooting was kind of like a work of public art,” said Andrew, an instructor at the Penn State School of Visual Arts.
From the beginning of “People’s Production,” it was Andrew’s goal to involve as big a crowd of collaborators as possible, with no experience required.
Everything from the basic storyline to the sound effects was publicly sourced. Even the film’s central protagonist is inhabited by multiple actors, sometimes within the same scene. Props such as glasses or a hat were used to help audiences keep track of who’s playing who.
It’s this weird, schizophrenic apprearance of characters.
“It’s this weird, schizophrenic appearance of characters,” Andrew said.
He estimates that about 100 people got a moment in front of the camera before the two-week shoot concluded, some of whom wouldn’t know a clapboard from their elbow.
“Bringing those people into the project was one of my main goals with it,” Andrew said.