VALLEY HIGH

A short musical film based on the song Valley High by Drew Gasparini

Screenwriter  |  Christopher Michaels

Composer/Lyricist  |  Drew Gasparini

Orchestrations  |  Charlie Rosen

 

CREATIVE TEAM

Director  |  Christopher Michaels

Director of Photography  |  Jamal Solomon

Editor  |  Levi Wilson

Lighting/Gaffer  |  David Ospina

Production Design  |  Tiffany Hattori

Wardrobe Design  |  Courtney Butt

Music Supervisor  |  Matthew Bennis

Produced by Calendar Boys Productions (now IndieWorks Theatre Company)

in association with Jeremy Terry Productions

and 5lvin Productions

 

CAST

Boy 1  |  John Michael Bradshaw

Boy 2  |  Nathan Fosbinder

Boy 3  |  Zach Solomon

Parker Smith  |  Nate Richardson

Sarah  |  Chandler Reeves

Blake  |  David Raposo

Tim  |  Kyler Coburn

Gabe  |  Chris Alfonso

Drew  |  Kevin Riddagh

Principal  |  Monica Cangero

Coach  |  Matthew John Mello

Boy 1's Sister  |  Margot Krauss

Boy 1's Mother  |  Kaitlin Creed

Boy 1's Father  |  Gregory G. Schott

Jerk Kid  |  Lars Halldin

Jury Forewoman  |  Cathy Cavender

Judge  |  Kimberly Vaughn

News Reporter  |  Stephanie Bloom

School Announcements  |  Jeremy Terry

PRODUCING TEAM

Executive Producer  |  Jeremy Terry

Executive Producer  |  Christopher Michaels

Lead Producer  |  Jenny Paul

Asst. Lead Producer  |  Elvin Roytman

Producer  |  Dov Lebovitz-Nowak

Producer  |  Jonathan Paul

Producer  |  Chelsea Roach

Producer  |  Tom Gavin

Associate Producer  |  Lauren Gismondi

RELEASE

YouTube, Online Platforms​ 2019

SYNOPSIS

Valley High is a short musical film that uses music to tell the story of three bullied and tormented teenage boys who long for attention, acceptance, and love in a world that refuses to give that to them.  Having no one to turn to but each other in this vulnerable time, the three boys band together to then turn dangerously against those who have done them harm.

 

Based on the song of the same name by Broadway composer, Drew Gasparini, with orchestrations by award winning musician, Charlie Rosen, and written and directed by Christopher Michaels, Valley High  takes the audience on an unsettling journey. From plotting and planning in one boy's bedroom, into the interrogation room for heartbreaking confessions, and into the courtroom to await their fate,  we weave in and out of flashbacks as the audience experiences the torture right along with our three main characters, catching a glimpse as to why no one ever "saw it coming from the boys at Valley High."

Filmed with a somewhat open ending, the film has left audience members wondering 'did they, or didn't they...?"; just one of the many questions to be asked in the conversations we hope will follow the viewing of this film.

A CONTROVERSIAL FILM

Valley High is about a rampage school shooting in Anytown, USA. As if that wasn't controversial enough, the story of Valley High is told through song and from the perspective of the shooters, shedding a little insight as to why they did what they did. I started writing the film in 2015 and then we filmed in 2017, just after the 18th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. We knew the piece was controversial and held it in the hopes that there would be a time when school shootings weren't a regular occurrence and this would be looked on as a bit of history. Two years after filming, we finally decided that no time would be a "good time" and so we released the version above with a disclaimer at the beginning.

VIDEO GALLERY

LEGO™ STORYBOARDS

Valley High was my first film and I had never had to create visual storyboards. As artistic as I am, drawing out storyboards would have been a big ol' mess and hiring a storyboard artist certainly wasn't in the budget. So I looked around my apartment and suddenly, my eyes caught on the large tub of Lego™ people and [cue lightbulb]! I spent the next 7 hours building a representative set, picking and dressing Lego™ men, and then posing and shooting some of the happiest storyboards I've ever seen (especially considering the subject matter)!

The storyboards are still about 50% representative of the film we ended up with, though some scenes had to be rewritten from day to day to cover for technical difficulties we ran into during filming. My hope is to one day do a side-by-side comparison with the finished film for my own amusement - and hopefully yours!

_18156816_1843342245920569_7484946488643
_Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 11.37.00 PM.p
_18076887_1843342942587166_4258669484273