It’s a Thursday night and the room is full of students who verbally replay the events of the previous school week. A visual effects major shakes hands with a costume designer and small talk quickly transforms into excitement for the upcoming meeting.
Enter a man and a woman whose faces would put Mary Shelley’s monster to shame. A beat of shock meets curiosity and the damned characters reveal, “It’s just makeup.” Chaos ensues and one actor is measured for a costume fitting while the other’s face is freed from her mask. This is just a peephole into the world of talent and hard work that is “Damn Frank.”
On Feb. 24, I was given a behind-the-scenes look at the student film “Damn Frank.” The story, written by Pikey Holderidge, is a musical comedy about a musician who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for success in the world of blues. However, the beautifully damned Frank McCoy, played by Mark Register, has some unfinished business in the world of mortals. How does one convince the inventor of temptation to grant one last hall pass? Why, by means of a dance-off, of course.
While the comedy is set in the underworld, the creators really care about the earthly world.
“One things that’s different from “Damn Frank” from normal student productions,” said director Blake Feldman, “is that we’re a green production. Everything is refurbished wood from old buildings that were torn down.”
The “Damn Frank” team collaborated with the Southern Pine Company of Georgia to create a completely green set. Set pieces are made from recycled and reclaimed materials. According to Ramsey Khalidi, president of the Southern Pine Company of Georgia, the wood used in the production has come from all over Savannah, the bulk of which has come from deconstructed buildings.
Khalidi, whose work has brought in Savannah stores like Marc Jacobs and Urban Outfitters, said that other films had been shot on his grounds but the “Damn Frank” team had really taken it to the next level. Khalidi said that Feldman wanted everything, including the walls on the set, to be recycled or reclaimed.
This step in using reclaimed materials brings the Savannah community a little closer to a sustainable state. Khalidi said of those drawn to shooting films at his location, “The underlying theme, including a green production set, is sustainability.”
It takes little steps to make a big change. The “Damn Frank” team is working together to make these changes and prevent the excess of waste. Who knew a story set in hell would be so good for the world above?Contact Michelle Perry.