A lot of ideas spring to mind in a bar. By and large, these need to be taken with a grain of salt, a full night’s sleep, and (depending on the amount of time spent in said bar) a couple of aspirin. While I was working and Sam was frequenting such an establishment, he wanted to sell me on an idea. It was with a bit of skepticism that I listened to Sam describe this ambitious, manic hybrid of Kurosawa, college and live action Anime. I recall thinking it was crazy, intriguing, fun, and impossible. Sam and I had worked together on a much smaller scale web-series and that had been hard enough to get finished. Here was Sam talking about a core cast that was over twice as big, varied locations, stylized costumes, large groups of extras, more episodes, oh, and fight scenes.
Part of me saw this as a months long head ache of scheduling, downsizing, and possibly the disappointment of never finishing or it not being any good. But Sam was beyond enthusiastic as he sat on the stool explaining all of this to me. He was driven and I had a strong sense that he could pull it off and that if he did, I wanted to be a part of it.
I have never regretted a moment of it (well, maybe being half naked running around outside on a cold March night, but never at any other time). Student Seven has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Sam and Chelsey get amazing kudos for never compromising this vision. They assembled a talent pool that is astounding by any level of professionalism you want to judge it by and created an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration.
The collaboration should never be over looked. While everyone had defined roles on set and hats to wear (some of them wizard hats) we all bled together, commenting on lines, characters, motivations, locations, chorography and visuals. Sam is really the heart of that. Being co-creator, writer, director and editor, he could have easily stuck to his own solitary vision, since obviously he had a clear idea of what Student Seven was. Instead, Sam sat us down, talked about where we saw our characters and also where we saw them, what we wanted for them and incorporated those ideas. Because Sam gave us ownership, we loved Student Seven as much as he did and he always got the most out of us. I will always be eternally grateful that I was above to be a part of it.
I was wrong. Student Seven wasn’t an impossible project. We just had to double our speed.