Student-produced, written, directed and acted short-film series “TENTS” released its first episode Thursday morning, and has spread across campus like wildfire.
The first episode is set in a coffee shop called Tents, which was filmed in the ever-elusive rarely-open De Koffie Boon coffee shop downtown. Though the shop usually lies rather empty, the actors and crew brought the space to life in this 6-minute episode.
The episode flashes between the stories and memories that face each of the coffee shop’s customers. The episode opens with a brilliant performance by Caroline Trewet as a job applicant named Tyler, who has Tourette Syndrome. Tyler approaches the coffee shop owner, Theodore, played by Will Norris and his semi-creepy moustache, and Trewet manages to bring to life the character’s struggle in a way that is both tasteful and convincing. This is combined with a series of quick-paced flashes of imagery — a beautiful cinematographic decision that brings the syndrome to life.
All of the actors succeed in bringing lively and detailed facial expressions to their performances; this can sometimes be difficult the first time actors make the transition from the stage to the screen. Abbie AJ Stoscher, who plays a student named Elie, does a particularly charming job of using subtle faces and expressions to portray her character’s frustrations.
Another shining accomplishment of the film is the music. Andrew Currier, a NW music major, composed and recorded the film’s music. The bumper music brings an additional layer of emotion and depth to the piece, and is particularly effective at portraying the character’s feelings during some of the episode’s flashback scenes.
The episode is the first of six, giving the actors and producers time to continue honing their performances. Some awkward gaps and transitions are sure to continue diminishing as everyone becomes comfortable with the series, and even the existing few are overshadowed by the powerful stories being told.
“TENTS” is a courageous step in student-produced art on campus, and everyone should be on the lookout for the five episodes to come. “TENTS” episodes will be published on Vimeo, and links for the videos can be found on the “TENTS” Facebook page.