My Apologies to Fitzgerald

Since I created this blog as an online journal for one of my classes this semester, I’m going to use this post to talk a little bit about the final video project. The requirements of the group project are

  1. We must work in groups four
  2. The video must be no longer than 15 minutes, no shorter than 10
  3. The video must use original footage (it can’t be a montage)

The third requirement really limits the scope and makes the project a little more challenging. Let  me frame it this way: I was unable to make a documentary chronicling Lady Gaga’s fashion evolution (revolution, if you prefer) because there is no possible way I could capture original footage of Lady Gaga.

With my first idea dashed, it was time to get serious. I found my group and submitted some ideas to them, one of which was to re-create the opening scene of a book, and the specific book I suggested was the F. Scott Fitzgeral classic, The Great Gatsby. Who doesn’t love the novel short in length, extensive in symbolism and required in tenth grade honors English classes everywhere? Please, keep your answers to yourself because that was one of the few books I enjoyed reading in any of my English classes, college included, and it has very little to do with the Leonardo DiCaprio adaptation coming in 2012.

Some of the other ideas that were tossed around included a documentary of “A Day in the Life of…” with possible people including celebrities, slobs and divas; and a Quality Value & Convenience/Home Shopping Network segment selling a fictional product no one needs or cares about. Needless to say, The Great Gatsby premise was my favorite option. The team reached a comprimise, meaning I changed my idea a little to please one member of the group. We decided to focus on a particular character of the story and make a condensed E! True Hollywood Story.

Here is a concise summary of The Great Gatsby. If you are anything like me, you remember the enjoyment of being submerged in Nick Carraway’s world, the sadness at Gatby’s death, and little else. Nick Carraway is the narrator who moves in to the West Egg of New York, the suburbs of the newly wealthy. His cousin, Daisy, lives in the East Egg (the suburbs of the always wealthy) with her husband and Nick’s former classmate, Tom Buchanan.

Nick spends much time with the unhappy, physically and emotionally abusive Buchanan couple and learns much about the ugly side of “happiness.” He learns Tom has a lover, Myrtle Wilson, a married resident of the Valley of Ashes; Gatsby, his eccentric neighbor, was and is still in love with Daisy; and the American Dream is much more about lies and cover-ups than dignity. Through an abnormal series of events Gatsby is killed and Nick leaves the West Egg disgusted by life.

The E! True Hollywood Story of Tom Buchanan would focus briefly on Tom’s childhood and focus heavily on life after Gatsby’s death. There will be interviews with Tom, Daisy, Myrtle (before her death) and Nicki (in this version of events Nicki Carraway was and is a female). It isn’t the most original idea, but everyone loves good gossip and Tom, though fictional, provides a hefty helping of it.

Just for some visual fun, here is a look at the actors who have portrayed Tom through the ages:

Top to bottom: Bruce Dern in the Robert Redford film version; Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway & Martin Donovan as the alcoholic Tom Buchanan in the A&E TV version; Joel Edgerton as Tom & Tobey Maguire as Nick in the soon-to-be-released Baz Luhrman remake.

Just for some visual fun, here is a look at the actors who have portrayed Tom through the ages:

Due to casting limitations, Nick had to be performed by a woman, but it will not compromise the integrity of the story any more than turning it into an E! news spectacular. Some lines of respect have already been crossed, but all is fair in the land of grades and grade point average.

We have written the scripts and have scheduled a filming time, but we still have to find a location, film, edit and record the narration. It’s a lot, but it’s only the middle of November. Fall hasn’t even hit yet.

P.S. If you would like to work as an unpaid actress, let me know. The less time I have to spend in front of the camera, the better off our project will be.

P.P.S. If you want to see the latest video project I completed with my partner and/or love Leonardo DiCaprio and/or Inception, check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW7ECB_xy4Q .

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