Students from Glenbrook South’s television and film program flirted with perfection on an award-winning short film shown on the school’s variety show in February.
Delighted with their collaboration and its results, they reunited this summer for a longer project that examines the concept of perfection itself.
“We’ve had an incredibly successful year in terms of awards and film festivals, and we’ve all grown closer throughout the year, and we knew we wanted to do another big project before a lot of us don’t go off to college,” said Omar Shoreibah, the assistant director of the DePaul University film school for “All Right.”
Filming in and around Glenview wrapped in late July, but with college and all, a premiere might not happen until Thanksgiving or winter break.
Shoreibah was the director of “Free time,” Glenbrook South’s “V Show” entry about three college students’ adventures with the grossest time machine imaginable, rescued from – and later destroyed and dumped in – a dumpster.
Produced by Michael Cunningham and Noah Collins – the director of “All Right – the 3 minute, 54 second film won first place in the Midwest Media Educators Association’s Comedy Storytelling. The film also won the Crystal Pillar Student Production Award in Short Fiction from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chicago/Midwest Chapter.
Shoreibah also won for directing “Free Time”, which is now part of a pool for national honors.
“It’s an incredible honor to receive these awards,” Shoreibah said. “Honestly, it’s a lot more about the memories of working on these projects with these people. That’s what lasts the longest, and that’s what really matters to me.”
This time, Collins sits in the director’s chair, a mutual decision between new Syracuse film student Shoreibah and a team of some 26 “really dedicated people,” Collins said.
“Something that I noticed very early on in production was that we had this kind of high school class that was unparalleled that I had never really seen before. It was a group of kids that were all so passionate and dedicated, and that was also clear with the results of ‘Free Time,'” Collins said.
“So we wanted to do it again and kind of increase the production value and just make it clear that, even though we’re young, we can make a great product. And, really, get a head start too.”
In “All Right,” slated for release on YouTube and submission to the All-American High School Film Festival, a 20-year-old learns that his aunt’s flower shop is closing. He tests her values while trying to keep her open.
“The main premise of the film is the young man’s struggle for perfection and the realization that this is not possible in life,” Shoreibah said.
Will Kasher, who leaves August 24 to begin studying film production at Loyola Marymount, plays the lead role, Mark Ernest.
“He embarks on this impossible journey to save this flower shop, and he ends up getting to this point where the only possible way to save it is to break some of his moral rules, and he really struggles with that decision and the fallout from that. . We kind of explore the effect that has on him,” said Kasher, who also starred in “Free Time.”
The 22-page screenplay for “All Right” was written by Collins, Kasher, Shoreibah and fellow Glenbrook South grad Josh Patt.
It doesn’t have a sunny ending, which appeals to Kasher, whose favorite movie is Christian Bale-Heath Ledger’s “Batman” entry “The Dark Knight.”
“One thing that we kind of decided in the writers room is that we could teach a lesson through a character’s inability to learn it,” Kasher said, acting opposite actress Julie Kaiser. .
An older actress “outside our usual circle of people,” Collins said, she was enlisted through Backstage.com, a website for talent looking for work in front of or behind the camera.
“I think it’s really easy, especially for beginners like us, to write a very structured plot where (the protagonist) encounters a conflict and he resolves it and there’s a happy ending. I like this direction because that she’s more realistic, and I think realism was definitely something we were trying to achieve,” Kasher said.
“Me, personally, as an actor, I’ve kind of explored my own struggle with or for perfection. It’s about accepting that if you’re doing your best and you’re really well-meaning, it’s That’s all anyone can ask of you. . As a person, I had to look inside myself to try to come up with this idea.”
There’s nothing more real than the need for capital when shooting a movie, even if like “All Right” it’s about 15 minutes long. To raise funds, Collins, Cunningham, Shoreibah, fellow producers Tommy Casey and Hannah Stetler and “the rest of the crew” started a Go Fund Me country which raised $6,300.
To that they added several hundred dollars from a fundraiser at The Laughing Academy in Glenview, which donated its space for musical performances by North Shore’s Josh Spinner and high school bands Candy for Breakfast, Charlie Horse, Hook and, yes, the Tofu Fighters. .
Collins, who headed to film school in Syracuse on Aug. 20, said the money was used to buy camera equipment, rent audio and lighting equipment, pay talent and access the premises.
Locations include the Morning Glory Flower Shop in Glenview, Lola’s Diner in Park Ridge, neighborhoods in Glenview, and friends’ houses and apartments.
It’s unclear whether or not “All Right” will do well with the All-American High School Film Festival judges and who else these students will pitch it to.
They certainly appreciate the Glenbrook South Television and Film program and, in particular, program director Julie Benca for sparking their interest, imagination and creative independence while building community.
“The program she built at Glenbrook South, without it I don’t know where I would be,” said Shoreibah, now at the forefront of Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects editing software.
“I found my passion through that. I found my best friends through that – a big thank you to her for everything she meant to me in high school and the influence she had on me and my future.”