Guild produces juicy surprise
After a year of writing and a summer of filming, the students of MTSU Film Guild aim to release their first feature film to audiences next summer.
“Juicy Mooshu” is an action-comedy film about two sanitation workers who discover an ancient Chinese chest during one of their cleaning assignments.
In the midst of their assignment, a prostitute approaches and attacks the men, and they soon find themselves running from the Chinese mob.
The feature film is based on events familiar to senior film students Chris Ranker, Ross Wells and recent graduate Warren Smythe, the film’s director.
“It’s inspired by things that we know, that we’re familiar with, family members we’re familiar with and things that have happened to us before,” Smythe said. “That’s how a film is successful. It’s relatable.”
Ranker took lead as the producer for “Juicy Mooshu,” having experience producing multiple series on MT10HD. Wells took the role of writing the screenplay after two years of screenwriting.
The three agreed to intertwine all of their “wild stories” into one script. Wells wanted a film involving “crazy drug situations,” Smythe wanted to involve two individuals who experience significant transformation, and Ranker wanted explosions.
Once the crew reached a main idea for their film, Wells began to write.
“I came out to school here originally for music. I was just trying new things and getting as much out of college as I could, because what I originally came out to college for is nowhere near what I’m doing now,” Wells said. “I had a class with Chris Ranker, and he enjoyed me, so I guess he wanted to get me involved. This is my debut.”
Although “Juicy Mooshu” is now in post-production phase, the film faced complications with funding as all of the guild’s previous films were done in a shorter amount of time.
The crew spent approximately $25,000 on the film, $5,000 under their initial goal. They used fundraising website Kickstarter to help with funding, and they also conserved money by purchasing cheap meals for their actors and actresses and using cost-free locations, such as Smythe’s house and his family’s properties.
“A lot of people were very doubtful of my creative decisions because sometimes it was abnormal, like the things that I did. A lot of times I was even questioning myself or second guessing myself, but I think the only way to make art, to be innovative, is to try something different, try something that feels right,” Smythe said. “That’s what we tried to do with this film- try things that are unconventional, but still keep it classy with conventional film techniques.”
Once the film is complete, the crew plans to submit it to appropriate festivals. As well as plans to rent theaters locally, in Nashville and Hendersonville to promote their work.
The MTSU Film Guild is an organization for students with career desires in filmmaking or video production.
“I’ve always said that if you want to be a filmmaker, you should just make films. That sounds really simple, but people don’t do that,” said Evan Caddell, cinematographer and a junior majoring in electronic media communication. “They say, ‘Oh, I want to be a filmmaker,’ and they don’t do anything or they wait around. You have to devote yourself completely to film.”