By Julia Cirincione
A film version of the play Twelve Angry Men is currently being produced by students in the Audio-Visual (AV) Club, and will premiere in the spring.
Junior Matthew Goetz, vice president of the club, is leading the project as director of the film. Goetz was surprised at first at the amount of work that is involved in directing.
“I have to deal with wardrobe, props, set design, makeup, and scheduling. It’s exhausting,” said Goetz.
Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose, centers on the deliberations of a jury and the process they undergo to reach a unanimous decision on the guilt of a young man accused of murder. The play was adapted in 1957 into a film starring Henry Fonda, and it now considered a classic on the stage and the screen.
The AV Club typically films only sporting events, concerts for the band and choir, open mic night, and graduation. Twelve Angry Men was chosen for its simple scenes and its focus on character growth rather than special effects.
“We chose it because it is a classic story and it did not cost that much to make,” said TV and production teacher Raymond Moskal, the club adviser. “There is only one setting and 12 actors, so it seemed like a simple film to recreate for our first one.”
Formal auditions for the casting were held in October, and the filming of the movie concluded in late January. Editing is expected to take three to four months.
“I am so grateful for this experience. It was interesting to get a little bit of insight into what filming a real movie is like,” said junior Nicole Cusmano, a member of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Repertory Theatre and a lead actress in the film.
The time commitment for the project, with filming lasting more than 20 hours, was eye opening.
“People don’t often think of all the time and effort every performer, director, editor, and crew member put into their productions, but now I know firsthand,” said Cusmano.
The club hopes to create more full- length films in the future.
“I look forward to making an original film created by somebody from the club,” said Moskal.