We hadn’t formed as a group for longer than a week, when we discovered a John Hughes Film Festival in Salisbury, Maryland. This would be the event that triggered our film to move from pre-production to full out production. We rented a camera (A Panasonic DVX100) from some friends (thank you Motel Pictures) and Fach, Kari and I hit the road. All we had discussed at this point was that we wanted the interviews to be filmed wherever we were able to grab them, and very “from the hip and raw” – meaning that we weren’t going to light it, or have a set list of questions – it was going to be a conversation that we’d have that we" just happened to have a camera around for."
We had no idea what would be in store for us when we got to Maryland, other than that we would be on campus grounds as the festival was a school event. We had already pre-arranged an interview with a professor who taught film at the local University and our key contact was a student named Garfield. As we waited for the film festival to start (which was basically a screening of a few Hughes movies over a few days – with a pretty modest turn out at the University theatre) we spoke to a bunch of kids on campus.
More than a test shoot if anything, our first trip taught us a few things. One, when shooting handheld it was difficult for me to be the cameraman AND interviewer (so that torch was passed to Kari). Two, we would definitely need a mic other than the one built into the camera (just stupidity really). Three, that Kari needs a number of inconvenient pee breaks while on the road, that the actor named Jake didn’t work at that furniture store that we bombarded (and has vanished even more so than Hughes), that the hot dog at the 7-11 we stopped at had probably been there since the premiere of Breakfast Club, and that these films resonate quit deeply with kids who weren’t even born when they came out.
This was a total new revelation and completely steered the doc in a new direction.
Below is an assemble, appalling sound and all, from our first trip ; general opinions about the Hughes films and the state of teen film.