The set of Science Team was one of structured chaos. The scene being shot was in a fairly small room, yet the space was filled with at least ten people at all times. Crew members and actors not in the scene were scattered throughout the other rooms in the house, waiting until they were needed.
The set of Science Team was one of structured chaos. The scene being shot was in a fairly small room, yet the space was filled with at least ten people at all times. Crew members and actors not in the scene were scattered throughout the other rooms in the house, waiting until they were needed. Pairs of shoes were strewn haphazardly by the door as over a dozen people walked around in their stocking feet. This was what was happening on Saturday, June 8 at a house outside the city, as the RVA-based filmmakers behind Science Team worked to capture scenes for their upcoming science fiction film.
Producer/assistant director Michele Lombardi was on hand, coordinating the action both on and off set. Lombardi described her job as finding “all of the pieces of the movie and put[ting] them together so they happen on time.” Her role as assistant director is “the connecting piece between the camera department, the art department, and the director.” Lombardi found her calling as a producer and director just a few years back. “It’s the most fulfilling job that I’ve ever had,” she said. During the making of Science Team, she has had a lot of creative control. “It’s the perfect balance of organizational power with creativity.” Her past, varying from student works and independent films to structured TV sets, gives Lombardi the advantage of knowing how to work on a “hybrid” film like Science Team.
The house where this particular scene was being shot belongs to Ginger Pridgen and her family. Through a string of acquaintances, Pridgen’s son Jordan was asked if he knew anywhere that Science Team could shoot a few scenes. “My son contacted me and said, ‘Mom, they’re looking for a house just like ours for some of the shots!’” Pridgen explained. “So he bugged me until I contacted them and said, ‘Sure, come by.'” Schedules were coordinated, and her house was selected to be the set of a scene from Science Team.
Quite a few of the actors with primary roles in the film were in attendance for the shoot. Matt Chodoronek plays Dick Willingston, who is “essentially an authority figure within the Science Team organization.” This was both his first day on set and his first time acting in a movie. Chodoronek’s character in this scene was seated in a wheelchair, which was placed next to a fireplace. The heat from the fireplace, along with the overcrowded room, led him to “get a good sweat going.” Chodoronek worked both as an actor and as on-set crew for the film. He described how “I’d be holding a board at one point, and then acting in the scene in another. It was a fun day!”
Also on set was Richard Spencer. He plays Joey Tweed, who is “kind of the commander, and one of the leaders in the Science Team,” Spencer said. “He lives and breathes Science Team, so he does his job pretty well.” Beyond that, though, Spencer wouldn’t elaborate. “You’ll just have to wait and see.” Spencer has worked on and been in other films before, and has been impressed with the overall professionalism of the Science Team actors and crew. “They definitely know what they are doing, so I’m very excited,” Spencer said.
Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma Entertainment, has a small cameo in Science Team. He has worked with the director, Drew Bolduc, for many years and wanted to participate in this film so much that he paid his own ticket from New York to Richmond. “I took the train here for seven hours because I identify Drew as very talented,” said Kaufman. “I think Drew will be recognized as one of the world class directors.” Kaufman’s cameo in Science Team will surely be appreciated by fans of his other works, such as Toxic Avenger and Tromeo And Juliet, as well as the recently released Return To Class Of Nuke ‘Em High, on which Bolduc worked as the visual effects supervisor.
Another actor milling around between scenes was Fabian Rush. Rush’s character doesn’t have a name, but does have a strange role. He guards Chodoronek’s character, Dick Willingston, which he proudly explained by saying: “I’m kind of the black guy. I’m Dick’s guard. I’m black Dick guard.” When asked how the acting experience on the film had been so far, he said, “It’s been fun. I love acting, and so being on the scene has been great. And Drew is a great director.”
Indeed, director Drew Bolduc, who also wrote the film, seemed universally well-respected on the set. Crew member Conrad Cotterman came from his home state of Indiana to work on the film with Bolduc. He is excited at this opportunity, and said that Science Team has a “great script, great director, great team,” and that he “can’t wait to see it.” Cotterman’s job on set involved one of the more complex technical elements of modern filmmaking. “I’m transferring all the principal photography from the cards to hard drives and backing them up,” Cotterman said. “It’s all digital.”
Overall, everyone on set was having fun and was elated to be included in the making of this film. Throughout the weekend, excitement was running high. Production on Science Team continues, and fans can keep an eye on what they’ve got going on by following their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ScienceTeamMovie
To view a teaser for Science Team, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhy5Gj2nwhw
And keep an eye on RVA Magazine for further updates!