Locally Themed Nadoland Movie Set To Begin Production Aug. 1 - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Island News

Locally Themed Nadoland Movie Set To Begin Production Aug. 1

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Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2015 3:51 pm

About to emerge fully-formed from the fertile imagination of Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA) Instructor Tony Perri is “Nadoland,” a movie set in Coronado, starring local citizens and CHS students and produced by Coronado residents. Or as CoSA Director Shane Schmeichel, who also doubles as a CHS Assistant Principal and an Executive Producer of “Nadoland” said smiling, “It takes a village to pull off everything we do around here.”

Schmeichel added, “With ‘Nadoland’ we are able to use a local story with our current students, which makes the learning meaningful. Plus the students have a very direct avenue to work with the community members. We have between six and eight student actors and a film crew of 16.”

The movie actually grew out of the concept of a series of summer intensive study programs run by CoSA while partnering with the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission last year. This year there are three summer intensive classes including acting/musical theatre, dance, and film/television. The film/television intensive is sold out but there are openings in the other two classes. Registration for the three-week sessions, which begin July 6, 2015, costs $595. 

CHS Alumna Lisa Bruce, who was an executive producer of “The Theory of Everything” which was nominated for an Academy Award, will speak to the film/television class on the first day of their session. Schmeichel explained how the process came about. “Lisa got involved because she was in town to promote her movie ‘The Theory of Everything’ and we contacted her and asked her to speak to our digital arts students and she agreed. Due to her meeting our students, we asked her to be involved in the summer intensive and she said yes. What is most important here is she is not only an amazing filmmaker, but she wants to inspire. Those are the type of guest artists we want to bring in to work with our students.”

Another Coronado local Chris Ursitti, who is part owner of the Los Angeles Center Studio will appear July 7. Ursitti’s film company is the site where many films are produced in the L.A. area.

For the dance intensive, Chris Koehl from “So You Think You Can Dance, Season 8” and “Glee” will make an appearance. The managing guest artist of the acting class is Katherine Harroff, the owner of her own community-based theatre company called Circle Circle dot dot.

Now back to “Nadoland” and Perri provides the elevator pitch for his movie. “In Nadoland we tie together three unique things. First is a small town like where I grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, which has a population of about 25,000 people. It’s a village where you know people, you ride your bike and you walk in the community. Second, we are the training base for the U.S. SEALs that are famed in history as heroes and I couldn’t feel prouder to share the same space. And No. 3 we are a world-class resort town anchored by the Hotel Del Coronado. The way we can thread this all together is by a good story, with incredible characters. Knowing the talent we have at CoSA I formulated characters we could hire and we’ll have a lot of students work both behind and in front of the camera. It’s a whimsical, romantic fantasy where the Hotel Del Coronado becomes a character in the film. Locations around the city are like other characters. It’s like a Christopher Guest movie (“Best in Show,” “Waiting for Guffman,” or “Spinal Tap”) were the characters are a little whacky, the surroundings are over the top and strange things happen.”

Admittedly that was a long pitch for an elevator ride, but at some point with most movies you have to suspend belief. Work with me here. Perri started work on the 112-page script in December of 2014. The movie which will run approximately 100 minutes contains 110 separate scenes.

The CoSA student actors include Emma Kidd, Ben Shapiro, Patrick Clark, Felicity Bryant, Josh Concepcion and Zoe Hunt from Coronado Middle School. Filming is set to start August 1, 2015 and will run for 21 days. From the conclusion of principal photography to completion of editing will take roughly two months. Perri expects to have the film ready for entry into the inaugural Coronado Island Film Festival, which would also be “Nadoland’s” world premiere.

Several Coronado locals and film buffs have behind-the-scenes roles. Executive Producers include Christian Esquevin, Bill Reitmeyer, Susan Kidd, Elizabeth Wampler and Schmeichel. Kidd also serves as a producer while Perri is the film’s writer and director.

Like most movies, even ones produced locally, there are financial issues to be addressed and “Nadoland” is no different. Supporters have launched a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign, with one interesting difference. The first $5,000 will go toward the purchase of a Blackmagic 4K Ultra HD Camera, which according to Perri has twice the resolution of standard HD. “The first item is the camera and then the lenses, which also cost $5,000. The camera and lenses get donated back to CoSA so students can make a feature film each year,” Perri explained. “The rest of the money is for food for the crew and cast. And we want to purchase a steady cam for smooth movements, which will also get donated back to the school. And we need some help to purchase costumes and props, which also go back to CoSA. They say that people who make their Kickstarter goal make it in the first couple of weeks. If you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get any of the money. Having the community behind us is so important. It is the locals and a network of friends who will help make the goal.”

Perhaps the most intriguing element is that the student actors and crew, as well as the adults for that matter, will earn inclusion on the “Nadoland” page on the Internet Movie Database better known as IMDb.com. The site has become one-stop shopping for details of all movies past and present. Perri explained the process. “A film has to have its own website or domain and every film on the website is vetted. They check to see if the film is a real production. Once they say ‘Okay,’ you’re a film and you can update the page. The students in the summer intensive will be involved in the pre-production of the movie and possibly the filming of some of the B-roll (background footage). Every student who is part of the film/television intensive this summer will be working in some way on the film. If they are working either in front or behind the camera, or both, they will have the opportunity to be listed on IMDb as part of the crew or cast.”

To contribute to the funding campaign, go to Kickstarter.com and search for “Nadoland.” Seeing our hometown and home-grown actors on the big screen will be well worth the donation.

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