Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Skit Hits The Fan.

When I was a student at Cornell, my a cappella group was not known for its humor. Though that didn't stop us Waiters from trying.

In the spring of 2000, we decided to give up the mid-concert skit, and shoot a video instead. At the time, this was revolutionary. (You know, back before you could shoot digital video on your phone.) And because we had no funds and no access to equipment, I went to a Cornell film class and pitched the project to the aspiring directors. And then I waited. And waited.

Finally, one girl took pity on us and agreed to shoot the Cayuga's Waiters Project (that was our working title). A few guys in the group wrote a skit (something about a cappella being a cult) and we met our filmmaker in the music building to begin production. She showed up with a hulking camera. And a healthy amount of patience.

We shot the next day out on the Arts Quad. We shot again that night. The result? A 13-minute opus that elicited exactly three laughs. A friend of mine insists he has a VHS copy of this film. I would like to see it. And then dispose of it.

Much has changed since I graduated. Groups now regularly shoot films, cheaply and digitally. And they're often times downright inspired. I'm not sure if this clip here, from IU's Straight No Chaser, will make you laugh. But it will make you marvel at the depths of their commitment.

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