Two aspiring writer/directors from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean enlisted two other students from different Asian countries to appear in their one-minute movie. That’s a scene taken from teacher David Crawford’s Grade 11 film class and Wedd’s House, and it’s a development that happens more than you might think in Upper Canada College’s close-knit boarding houses.
Niccolo Donati from Florence, Italy and Calvin Bouchard from New Milford, Conn. have rooms next to each other in Wedd’s and chose to work together on an assignment for Crawford’s class in which they randomly picked a genre and a location from a hat and were told to make a one-minute film using them. Using “comedy” and “elevator” as their starting points, the two students brainstormed ideas until they came up with a concept they thought would work.
The two boys wrote and directed the short, while Bouchard also appeared in it and Donati edited it. Two more actors were needed, however, and Atef Abedin from Dhaka, Bangladesh and Julian Zhao from Beijing, China fit the bill to appear in The Bow Tie Heist.
Bouchard and Abedin entered UCC as new boys in the fall of 2013 and became roommates this year. With Donati living next door and sharing a couple of classes, they quickly became good friends.
“We knew we wanted Atef in our film from the get go,” says Bouchard. “Atef being my roommate brought the flare of theatre acting to the screen, which was very evident throughout our film.
“As for Julian, we had originally asked a Year 1 to act in our film. When the day came to film it, he did not show. Julian was walking in the student centre, so we asked him to act in our film.”
If you like the debut effort from the two young filmmakers, Bouchard has good news: “I would like to announce that there is a coming movie that Nico and I think is going to be an even better hit than The Bow Tie Heist.”