GREEN Undoubtedly, filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. But 20-year-old Green high school graduate and Ohio State University Film Studies major, Vincent Tricaso, knew that going in.
"Hollywood has made independent filmmaking almost impossible to do well today," Tricaso said, adding that film studies classes, have done little in the way of softening that hard lesson.
"The public's visual literacy has increased rapidly, yet movies are mostly made into trilogies, with done- to-death plot lines, and inflated, unnatural action scenes," he added. "Don't get me wrong, there is a place for these films, but they should not be made central."
Before returning to school this fall, Tricaso and his business partner, Brandon Adams, an integrated media major at Ohio University will be shooting their first full-length feature film, entitled "Runaway" – the follow-up to a short film shot last summer.
Although daunting, the pair wound up far ahead of many nascent filmmakers in the run-up to the four-week shoot – which began June 12 and is expected to wrap July 8. Tricaso and Adams’ Area Code Films raised $12,000, Tricaso himself contributing $5,000 toward that goal, in part by selling his TV, first video camera and his car. More than 150 people from across the country applied for roles.
Given Tricaso’s major, with a focus on screenwriting, it is not surprising that his latest foray into film is ambitious both in terms of its production and messaging.
"After a number of classes in film studies and work on short films, I feel my team and I can accomplish a great movie with the budget of $12,000," he said. "Area Code Films' intent for our first feature is to move our audience with what we have to say with our modest budget."
Drawing from personally witnessed experiences, the team hopes to get out a message that is still overlooked in the midst of increased awareness of drug addiction.
"Initially, I got the idea for it when someone at OSU jumped off of a parking garage," he said of the film, which chronicles the effects such an incident can have on an entire community. "The idea for ‘Runaway’ came to me much like our character Frankie, who realized he has problems that he has been internalizing too much when a girl dies in front of him. I think any student understands the pressures we go through during the school year. We battle a mountain of anxieties everyday with expectations, money, classes, and sometimes family and friends."
And oftentimes, Adams said, these pressures go unnoticed among the more upwardly mobile segments of society.
"I think it started out as just a good idea for a movie," Adams said. "But we realized there was a deeper message."
"’Runaway’ aims to focus on the middle-class struggle of young adults trying to figure out what to do with their lives," Tricaso said, adding that the setting of Green was both a practical and poignant choice.
"My hometown and many parts of Ohio have come to a mass influence of a variety of drugs that seems to be getting worse and worse every year for our youth," he said of the film, which will be shot on location in Green and at an apartment in Columbus.
Tricaso explained that the film follows the character of Frankie in real time, as he witnesses a girl's suicide and struggles as the girl enters Frankie's memories in glimpses, mimicking his interactions with other people.
As she becomes more vivid to him in his dreams, the girl becomes an actual extension of Frankie, attempting to make him face the past and move forward.
With plans to take the film on the festival circuit, including internationally known showcases like the Sundance Film Festival, Tricaso and Adams are keeping the bigger picture in mind – recognizing finding and audience through any outlet is a win.
"I’ve always been kind of an artsy guy, I didn’t want to go into business and do the 9 to 5," Tricaso said with a laugh.