By: Staff Writer Peter Chew
The film MSJ: The Musical (MSJTM) is set to have its first screening to an audience of Mission San Jose High School students and faculty on June 7th, 7:00 PM in Room C120. MSJTM is a production with an alternate, more sinister version of MSJ as the main setting and focal point. The plot follows protagonists Jeffrey and Rachel, as they discover that a covert student mafia known as the Syndicate has been pulling the strings within their school.
The film is the brainchild of Class of 2011 alumnus Doug Wilson, who had conceived the idea of making a musical about the school during his time at Mission. It was not until 2012 that he began work on the current version of MSJTM. Wilson recruited a talented cast and crew totaling over 40 people, many of whom are Mission students and alumni. The cast consists of alumni James Gao, Noa Kretchmer, Lucy Shen, Sumedh Bhattacharya, Allan Ko, Stephanie Hom, and Juniors Sean Li and Maya Zhai. Also in the crew are Alumni Leila Garcia, Leena Yin, Kyle Lam, and Senior Daniel Do. Despite the amount of filming that had to be done and the fact that many crew members had begun to move across the nation, they worked tirelessly and managed to finish principal photography in months. When asked how the members of the MSJTM crew operated, Yin wrote, “I would say the relationships [between crewmembers] were pretty good—we were all there voluntarily, after all, for something that we thought was worthwhile.”
“There was a lot of teasing and laughing, as well as serious work,” says Noa Kretchmer, who plays the role of Rachel.
MSJ: The Musical is a satire of the real Mission San Jose High School. Through comedy, the creators of the film intend to explore the culture of academics at Mission as well as other more controversial factors such as race, all while keeping the mood light as the characters burst into song and the protagonists struggle against the absurd construction that is the Syndicate. Furthermore, MSJTM aims to illustrate the experiences of Mission students and to pay homage to the memories at Mission that stay with us for a long time after we graduate.
The MSJTM crew would like to encourage all students, faculty, and parents to come to the showing. Wilson writes, “I think the Musical’s going to be fantastic when it comes out. It’s been a long time coming, and I think you’ll be impressed by what we’ve come together to create…[there] are things we need to talk about as a community, and immediately so, in my opinion.” Due to the efforts of Mission’s performing arts as well as many other individuals, MSJTM has metamorphosed from a fanciful dream to a nearly finished, feature-length colossus.
With MSJTM in the midst of post-production, there is little time to waste as crew members bring the film to its final cut. Both pride and conviction drive them now in their labor of love, while the anticipation grows in the days leading up to the first reveal.
Check out their Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/1462499687320842/
Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/Uy6K8KGzgcQ