Lonely at the Top
Story posted May 01, 2003
After fewer than five years of operation, BCN — The Bowdoin Cable Network — has produced a feature length film.
The idea began with Matt Volk, who, along with Phil Sharp, is co-general manager of BCN, but it grew to involve many people from BCN and around campus. Volk hatched the idea when he and his roommates started talking about ideas for a comic horror story.
“I kind of get randomly inspired to write things,” Volk said. So he started writing a story, with input from his roommates. As the story came together, he decided it would be a great project for BCN ---— both a challenge and a way to leave a mark on the College before he graduated.
Volk knew he wanted others involved, and he knew he wouldn’t have time to write a screenplay. Since he needed someone to write a movie, it seemed logical to turn to someone with an appreciation of film, so Volk asked Orient movie reviewer Monica Guzman to pen the script.
“Writing the screenplay was one of the most grueling and challenging things I've ever done, but once it was done — wow, I've never felt so good,” Guzman said.
The plot of “Lonely at the Top: Rejection Can be Deadly” concerns Dexter Hyde, a man who lives near Whittier Field and has applied to Bowdoin for 18 consecutive years — and been rejected every time. When an article in the satirical magazine Ritalin jokes about ways to lower Bowdoin’s national stature, including a rash of killings that would scare off applicants, Dexter sees his chance. His murders wreak havoc on campus and lead to a giant cover up in an effort to preserve Bowdoin’s reputation.
About 35 students were involved in the production, with around 25 acting in the movie, which was filmed on digital video. Steve Gogolak was the primary director of the film, the making of which comprised about 40 individual shoots over the course of six weeks.
“Making a full length movie on a college schedule is quite a feat, so coordination was the key ingredient,” he said.
“Our shoots ranged from 15 minutes to over two hours at a time. This became extremely taxing on the cast and crew, and we were all very nervous whether or not our long hours and countless takes would pay off,” Gogolak said. “ I am pleased to say that they have. Though we are not exactly aiming for Hollywood, this film is pretty impressive given our resources and time constraints.”
Volk is also pleased with the results and thinks that this and other BCN productions are advanced for a college of Bowdoin’s size, especially considering the fact that there isn’t a communications or broadcasting major.
“In the end, I still can't believe we actually did this,” Guzman said. “It seemed so daunting at the beginning — I guess it's a testament to everybody's strong dedication and persistence.”
“It’s Lonely at the Top: Rejection Can be Deadly” premieres Thursday, May 1, to a capacity crowd in Smith Auditorium, with additional screenings Friday, May 2, in Daggett Lounge and Sunday, May 4, in Smith Auditorium.
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