Small Pockets, Big Dreams
Picture this—a coming out story parody in which the confessor is not admitting his homosexuality to staunchly conservative parents, but is a vegetable-loving vegan revealing his secret to his father, a bovine-loving butcher.
Three Northport High School alumni hope to take their independent film-feature idea from paper to the big screen by launching a $10,000 kickstarter campaign which they hope will turn their dream into a reality.
Phillip Russell, 22, said the concept behind “Between Two Butchers” resulted from a brainstorming session over senior thesis ideas for a class at Five Towns College in Dix Hills. But, he and partner in crime Tom Capps, 25, realized the concept behind the feature film could be a wise opportunity for long-term investment.
The investment comes with a hefty price-tag, as the crew needs to cover costs for professional actors, location bookings, transportation and even food for the cast and crew.
Taking an “if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it right” attitude, the foursome said they are not deterred by the demands of what the project entails.
“We’re so into indie, and we’ve gotten good at stretching a dollar over the last three years,” Capps said. “As opposed to making a giant corporate feature film that would cost millions of dollars, we’re trying to get a professional-looking image that none of the big corporations have.”
The pair crossed paths at the Dix Hills campus when their education overlapped, before Capps graduated from the performing arts program in 2012. After realizing they shared mutual interests, along with fellow students Cat Sully, 19, and Steven Neimann, 20, of New Jersey, the group began filming comedic shorts on a fairly regular basis.
The weekly meet-ups fell on Thursdays, and the title “Thursday Shoots” was adopted as the group’s name.
Russell held off on production for “Butchers” and instead filmed a 12-episode web series, “Baby Boss,” to fill the thesis credit instead. Through working together on “Baby Boss” and later, a web series spin-off called “Tiny Office,” the collaborative crew was able to get a feel for their strengths as a unit as well as a taste of each member’s individual writing and production style.
With a collective affinity for dark humor, the group bounced ideas off one another and worked efficiently together to make past projects a success. The group updates their YouTube account on a weekly basis, with film shorts and webisodes to keep the masses entertained. Their most-watched video, the “Tiny Office Pilot,” has received over 1,623 views in eight months.
“We don’t like doing anything without collaboration. Without it, you’re destined to fail,” Capps said.
“Collectively, we just like to make people laugh. I feel more gratified when I get a good laugh [ftom the audience],” Russell added.
Thursday Shoots has been able to film most of their web series and film shorts using equipment that is available to them free of charge through Five Towns College. But the equipment, outside assistance and resources to build an independent film like “Between Two Butchers” exceeds the services the college has to offer.
The group, made up of several core members and about eight other students, has uploaded 46 videos to their YouTube site and plans to launch an official website and kickstarter campaign in several weeks.
“What comes across in our projects is the fact that we do just have fun while shooting. We’ve been on other sets and they can be a nightmare, and our projects reflect that,” Russell said.
“There’s a lot of honesty and mutual respect, and I don’t think there’s an ego element to it,” Capps added.
The group hasn’t launched the official kickstarter campaign yet, but the members said it will come to life before the end of the year.
Although this article won’t give away how the “Butcher” film ends, the crew carved a comedic—or horrifying—hole in the plot, as the vegan pariah is kicked out of his house and must live with his girlfriend, who is neighbors with another butcher, who is also a serial killer.
To learn more about Thursday Shoots and to endorse their kickstarter campaign, visit www.facebook.com/ThursdayShoots.