Monday, May 24, 2010

Marco: The Mix Tape (Track 5)

Stevie Wonder-Uptight (Everything’s Alright)

My friend Daniele (better known as Jim—don’t ask) and I got really interested in making videos in high school. It started when our Grade 11 English teacher let us film a scene from Lord of the Flies as part of our unit on that book. We filmed and edited it using analog equipment. I haven’t seen that video in a long time but I’m sure it’s equally terrible and hilarious.

Still, we were very proud of the accomplishment and over the next couple of years, we made a series of films as class projects under our unregistered company named, Uptown Films (An Infinity Production), eventually getting our hands on a digital camera and editing software. These films included an anti-drinking public service announcement for English Media (set to Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride and featuring our friend Marco simulating vomiting in a toilet), a bizarre series of sketches for Paul’s philosophy class (including a slow motion scene of a rook taking a pawn), and a short movie about John Gotti’s rise to power (titled The Family and featuring a soundtrack strangely similar to the one used by Martin Scorsese in Goodfellas). One of the many highlights was our preview for The Family, which aired before another video we made for a law class.

In OAC, Jim and I decided to create our piece de resistance, a commemorative film of our class’s final year in high school. I had my video camera with me every day that year and compiled hours and hours (and hours) of footage, covering everything from the boys’ soccer team championship run to Variety Night to Paul locking the DeCiantis brothers in the girls’ washroom. When Jim and I sat down to edit the thing, the only music we had with us was a four-CD Motown box set I’d recently purchased from Columbia House music club. The film opens with an in-car view of a drive up to St. Basil-the-Great College school, with the backing soundtrack provided by Lil’ Stevie and the Funk Brothers playing this track. We showed the video to our class on the last day of school and offered copies for $15. We sold out. One person also asked if he could also have a copy of the soundtrack.

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