By Anthony Bisceglia
A junior at Fitchburg State University, Matt Viel is taking on the role of director for the upcoming student film “Online Service,” filming it for his Advanced Video course this semester. His experience demonstrates just how much time and work goes into a student film here at Fitchburg State.
“Online Service” is a romantic comedy centering around Trent, a college student who meets a girl over the Internet. A shy kid offline, Trent meets and starts talking to Holly online while his best friend Clark supports him the whole way, wanting to see Trent succeed with the girl. Trent’s other roommate, however, loves giving Trent a hard time for meeting a girl online.
The film follows Trent’s journey with Holly as it blooms from an innocent message online to something bigger.
“This story is very personal to me and I’ve been writing it for some time,” said Viel.
Being both the director and writer of the script, Matt really wants this film to come alive. Joining him in “Online’s” production are six other students who all have specific jobs: producer, script supervisor, editor/sound engineer, gaffer, location scout/production designer, and director of photography.
Viel said he expects the film to be in production for two months – one month to shoot and one to edit. He said the past few weeks have been filled with casting calls, choosing actors for all male roles. They are still trying to select a female but should have one chosen by the time shooting starts.
The creation of this film is part of Viel’s final project for his advanced video class, the highest required course for the film degree; it gives the student the best experience with how a real film is created.
The locations for shooting have been selected and mostly consists of sites on campus including the library, Thompson Hall, and a dorm room. The only off-campus location will be at an apartment in Gardner.
Every director of a low-budget film can name a few Hollywood actors and actresses he would love to have portray his characters. For this film, Viel said he would pick Michael Cera to play Trent and Zoey Deschanel to portray Holly.
“This is a story for the shy kids, something to give them hope,” said Viel. It has been a dream of his for the past couple of years to get this story of his on the “big screen,” and he’s finally doing it.
The film will be released at the end of the semester.