Students produce feature film at GW

The Bet, the first full-length feature film being produced by a GW student, will be filmed on campus in February and March.

The Bet is a romantic comedy about love, sex and romance written and directed by junior Zachary Kaplan. The Bet is “a hilarious romantic comedy that explores the concepts behind dating,” said Kaplan, a theater major.

Kevin and Russell, played by seniors James Manfredi and Patrick Macmanus, are students “fed up with romance.” When their friend Malcolm, played by sophomore T.J. Brunner, bets them that getting girls is easy, Kevin and Russell are anxious to partake. But as The Bet becomes more competitive, the stakes begin to rise. Christine, played by junior Janine Barris-Gersti, becomes the object of The Bet.

While The Bet is primarily Kaplan’s creation, juniors Matt and Bryan Rosenblum contribute as technical collaborators on the project. Senior Missy Klein is the film’s production manager.

Kaplan said he has yet to find a sponsor for the film but is looking for potential sponsors on and off campus.

The film is finishing the pre-production phase and moving into production. Auditions began with open calls last Monday and callbacks on Tuesday.

Macmanus, who Kaplan directed in Generic Theatre Company’s fall production, The Art of Dating, said he is excited about being cast in a feature film.

“Film is new for me,” he said. “The Bet has a great script and will be a fun project to do.”

Kaplan said he anticipates the film will be ready for editing between late March and early April.

Kaplan said he expects the film to attract a large audience, particularly among the GW community, because several scenes in the film will take place on the GW campus and in the District. Kaplan said he also plans to enter The Bet in a variety of film festivals.

The project is open to all GW students, alumni and faculty. More than 75 people auditioned for the film. Though the film has only four lead characters, it has many opportunities for students and faculty to get involved in the production.

“With the leads, minor roles, walk-ons, one shoot roles and extras, there are potentially 50 actors required for this project,” Kaplan said. Students and faculty also are welcome to assist the crew and production side of the show. More than 30 crew and production positions are open to students.

Kaplan said he anticipates the project will be completed by the first week in April.

The Bet will definitely premiere before classes are out,” Kaplan said.

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