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IPR Digital Video Students Shoot Short Film

Joe Hegle pitches his story idea during screenwriting class at IPR

IPR’s Edina Studio Manager Red White often warns new students that, “if you don’t have a passion for video production, don’t get in the business.” After over thirty years working in feature film and commercial production, he knows what he’s talking about. His words were not wasted on these hard working IPR students. 

After spending half of a quarter writing and revising the script for Larry in screenwriting class at IPR, Digital Video and Media Production (DVMP) student Joe Hegle knew he had to shoot it. So, this summer, he and two other students checked out equipment from IPR and went on location in Maple Plain, Minnesota to create their first short film as college students.

Hegle, who wrote and directed the short, was joined by Parker Gorecki, who served as director of photography and Robyn Ehrlich, who cast the film and served as assistant director. Later, the three tapped DVMP student Isaiah Canfield to edit the short and they’ve just released a trailer in advance of its upcoming release. 

By the way, Hegle, Gorecki, and Ehrlich are all still in high school, attending IPR on the High School Advantage Scholarship.

Ehrlich put out a casting call via Minnesota Film and TV’s website and got over fifty responses. The crew brought in about ten actors to formally audition before casting the principle roles.

The short features its title character, a down-on-his-luck divorcee who becomes an unwilling getaway driver when he’s carjacked by a young hood who is on the run from a stick-up. It was shot almost entirely in a four block radius of Maple Plain – at Monie’s Bar and Grill, the Holiday Gas Station across the street, as well as a private residence. The young filmmakers tapped into personal and professional connections to nail down the locations.

The story was born out of a character study and a script developed in class at IPR, “I did a few edits just before we shot” Hegle said, “but otherwise we stuck to the script I wrote in class.”

“Shooting from a solid script is very different than my previous short films,” he went on, “It’s easier to direct the actors because we knew what we wanted to see.”

DP Parker Gresak said his work also profited. “It made us able to think about specific shots and helped us to keep a certain continuity and perspective.”

They plan to enter the short in this year’s EDU Film Festival (a festival specifically for youth filmmakers) as well as other area film festivals like the Duluth Superior Film Festival, the Twin Cities Film Fest, and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, all of which have short film categories.

And what did the trio learn from their experience? “The entire thing was one learning moment… but casting it was the hardest part,” Hegle remarked. “The extras were difficult… ours weren’t necessarily reliable… our make-up artist ended up playing the bartender.”

“It was great to work with established actors, though,” adds Gorecki, “They add another level to the production value.”

The trailer for Larry is posted on Vimeo and Facebook. The finished short should be ready for release within the next three weeks.

Hegle, Gorecki, and Ehrlich continue to work toward a degree at IPR and are getting closer to high school graduation and full-time enrollment in the Digital Video and Media Production Program. They and Canfield are busy with the final edits of Larry on top of their regular schoolwork. And don’t be surprised if we announce more exciting work from this group. They clearly have what it takes in this business.

Passion.

Watch the trailer:
[vimeo 145191468 w=500 h=281]

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High School IPR Student Enters EDU Film Festival