Supporting Locals - Flashback

I published this piece a while ago but it's definitely still relevant. Young Missouri based directors Randy Prywitch and Jason Goldstein of the Be The Shoe Productions recently won 'Best of Arts' for The Maneater Student Newspaper and it was certainly well deserved. I highly recommend checking out their most recent film, Salad Daze. It'll be showing for the last time on the big screen on May 27 at the Parkway Central Theatre. If you're interested in buying the DVD or viewing some of their shorts, please visit Be The Shoe on the web.

Here's the article, published in The Maneater on April 9th:

" As they strode into Kaldi's coffee shop, students Jason Goldstein and Randy Prywitch appeared to be calm, collected college juniors. They swapped small talk -- journalism school, weather patterns. But the minute their upcoming film, "Salad Daze," came up, they feverishly raved about the production -- and a little bit of spit was sprayed in the rush.

Then again, they're passionate about their craft.

Goldstein, a former Maneater staff member, and Prywitch have been friends since fourth grade and filmmaking has always been a mutual dream.

"When we were in middle school and in high school, we started making short films together," Prywitch said. "We were just messing around a lot and then 'boom.'"

The pair caught the movie-making bug, and they've continued with the art form together ever since. Since the release of their first feature length film, last November's "American Gothic," the dream has become an even larger part of their lives.

"Salad Daze," the duo's second feature length film was written during last year's spring semester and filmed throughout this summer.

The term salad days, Prywitch said, is an old Shakespearean idiom, which defines the days between adolescence and adulthood. Playing off this, the film chronicles the life of a young boy who has just graduated from high school and is struggling through his own salad days. Just dumped by his girlfriend and spending the summer trapped with his older sister, the story revolves around the quirky interactions within his family. The story comes to its climax when their grandfather dies and the family is forced to reunite at his funeral.

"There's a lot of latent tension in the family," Goldstein said. "They have their conflicts and they have their issues, this brings them out and then they start to resolve them."

Prywitch elaborated, explaining the comedy in the film.

"It's a serious comedy because it's about things that aren't necessarily funny," he said. "But the characters are very interesting and you like to see how they interact."

Prywitch said they worked with the same actors they used for "American Gothic," making writing roles much easier for him.

"Everybody who had a part in the last film is playing a completely different character this time because I know what their strengths are and I tried to write a role that they could fit," Prywitch said. "Every single one of the major characters is spot on."

Prywitch said this film was a serious expansion on the last.

"We wanted to make another feature length film while we were home, really up the ante," Prywitch said. "We got new cameras, we got lighting equipment and our actors are more refined."

One of the biggest difficulties the duo faced, though, was making a soundtrack. They initially selected over 40 songs from big-name bands, but didn't want to pay the royalties.

Thinking on his feet, Goldstein invented a creative solution to this problem.

"Jason created this thing called 'Be the Shoe music' where he reached out to local musicians and bands," Prywitch said. "They hear that we want to put their music in our movie and they're thrilled. They're supporting us and we're supporting them."

Not only are they supporting local music with the release of their film, but Goldstein and Prywitch also wanted to ensure Columbia was the location for the premiere of their movie.

"Columbia is one of those towns that just accepts art, especially recently with the emerging independent filmmakers at the True/False Film (Fest)," Prywitch said. "This is the perfect time. We're not amateurs anymore, we want to show this off."