group of high school friends from Joseph McBride High School meet
for a more intimate and informal party after their 15th-year class reunion.
But, for Doug Smith hard feelings still haunt him ever since Kevin
Chambers sleeps with Doug's sweetheart after the Prom. Now, the time has come for
by actor and first time director Marcus Freeman, the story
follows Doug Smith (played by Gregory Malonson) and Kevin Chambers
(played by Kedrin Birdwell). Both used to be good friends and both
have been invited to an informal after party for their 15th year
class reunion for a group of their close friends and
Chambers, has been having problems in his life ever since losing his
grand-mother, experiencing some medical issues and cumulating in
emotional distress and, being under pressure, gets hold of a
gun. And, Doug has never really bounced back from the loss of
his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Dawn
McAfee (played by: Greta Jordan-Williams), after an alleged affair
she had with Kevin after the prom, that eventually broke them up.
Now he is holds a grudge.
night before the party, Kevin meets Francesca
Hampton (played by Jelessa Robinson) at a hotel bar and after
several drinks and drunk, they have an indiscriminate and an
intimate night together at his hotel room.
next day and at the party, Doug and Dawn meet for the first time in
15 years and things didn't go very well and may be described as
bitter. With the gang there sans Kevin, Doug has invited another
classmate, Francesca, to the party but, no one know who she is or
remembers her. However Doug assures everyone at the party that
Francesca graduated from Joseph McBride High School
but, at the time, was Franklin Garred (aka: High Heel Franky) .
Doug's ulterior motives start to rise up at the expense of Kevin.
Kevin arrives to the party, he is surprised to see Francesca there.
Doug, being the kind of guy he is and holding a grudge, pushes Kevin
and Francesca to recall their intimate details, the night before, in
front of their classmates and friends. Doug's diabolical plan flushes
to its full glory. Angered by deception, Kevin storms out with Doug
following. Shots are fired. With more twists and turns is Doug's
resentment toward Kevin justified? Did Dawn and Kevin really have an
affair at prom night? Is Francesca really High Heel Franky? Why have
shots been fired? What are Kevin's medical issues? AND, what are the
consequences of playing a prank?
by Mr. Freeman "The Prank" is an intelligently written
story containing twists and turns, several back stories, a
beginning, middle and an end. The story is basically about the
consequences as the direct result of someone's actions and
inactions. Consequences that are not all fun and games but
that, sometime, lead to irrevocable harm. Because this is a short story,
the writer has to compress a lot of information but in a way where
it does not overwhelm the viewing audience. We think Mr. Freeman did
a great job in conveying enough information, to adequately move the
audience from one plot scene to another. In all, "The
Prank" was a very good story.
the script and adapting it to the screen is a triumph for any
moviemaker. It takes a lot of time and energy to come out of
post-production with a completed movie for the entertainment of an
audience. The trick for any movie maker is to make a move that
captures the audience and keeps them seated and wondering what is
coming up next. "The Prank" did just that. However,
our job is to dissect. To be honest, the opening sequence in
"the Prank" was a bit slow and, in our opinion, a
bit confusing. We believe that the movie should have started with
the table full of high school memorabilia as the establishing shot
instead of showing a group of 4 vehicles traveling together down a
road. We think this would have made for a better
opening. Also, act one of the movie was a bit sluggish
and disassociated. We were not really sure what was going on or who
were the major players. The movie actually came together only after
the host of the party approached Doug Smith. The movie flowed nicely
after that point. With 16 minutes of running time, "The
Prank" was a good move to watch. It unfolded, presented
problems, escalated in plot, presented a climax and twisted the
audience and concluded with something different. By the end of the
movie we were happy to see the efforts of the team well received as
it should be.
is the first movie venture by Marcus Freeman. We are sure he took
great pains in making sure that this movie was well constructed and
using standard movie making techniques and practices. Technically,
"The Prank" is a standard
independent short motion picture. It has a very good story but
the movie could have been better constructed. One of our pet peeves
in watching any movie is SOUND. The sound can make a big
difference in the way the viewer sees the movie. There was a lot of
missing sound, as in foley sound, interaction/dialogue sound. There
was a lot of echo in many of the scenes. The sound should be deep
and rich. There was a lot of unbalanced and unleveled sound between scenes
and between characters.
fault with independent moviemakers is lighting, or rather the lack
of it. Although, Mr. Freeman did an adequate job in the construction
of this movie, however, the majority of it was flat and didn't
really "pop" or have that 3D type of lighting that you
will see in some higher budgeted ventures. This, of course could be
due to that lack of equipment as most low/no budget indie moviemaker
experience and ultimately make due with what they have.
of the better things to say about this movie is that the
cinematographer did a great job in composing the movie. Sure,
there were a couple of awkward blocking issues and scenes, but
overall the camera was fluid, steady and focused. Camera angles were
creative and interesting to see. NOW, do we blame the
cinematographer for the lack of light? Is it his/her responsibility?
After all the cinematographer is behind the camera lens and with the
director it is his/her job to make sure that a picture is being
painted. Lighting can make or break a movie.
Basic 3-point lighting is a standard in any movie. missing
from the majority of this movie is the 3 dimensional lighting
consistent with good filmmaking practices it was flat and that
effects the composition of this movie.
of the tech side, the actors did a great job in their performances
in front of a camera. There performances felt natural and not
strained or stressed.
could have been a little tighter. There were several areas where
there was some lengthy pauses between the dialogue between
characters. However, cuts and wipes were seamless and
unremarkable...as it should be.
some of the technical flaws, which comes with most indie projects in
one form or another, Mr. Freeman did a great job in directing and
presenting his vision of what this story ought to look like on the
big screen. Putting this movie together is a challenge in the
first place for any first time director. WE think Mr. Freeman has
talent as a director and we hope that he continues to hone his
skills in presenting his vision of a story. With practice make
personal impression of "The Prank" is positive.
Looking back is 20/20 and I respect the fact that anyone is able to
write, produce, take a lot of time and effort to present a story to
an audience on the big screen. It's always an accomplishment to be
able to say that you made a movie. And, it is even more of an
accomplishment to say that you made a good movie that
"looks" like a movie.
from the opening shot, we were happy to see an interesting story
unfold and come to a thoughtful conclusion. We think that Mr.
Freeman did a great job in creating a visually adaptation of a
complex story containing several twists and turns. As we watched the
movie we admit that we did empathize with the characters and enjoyed
the forethought of knowing what was about to happen as the story
progressed. WE were really amazed that the concluding twist
was hidden so well that it surprised a skeptic like me. LoL.
Very well done Mr. Freeman.
all, we enjoyed the movie. it was entertaining, both visually and
with the story it had to tell AND we it contained a universal theme
that was filled with humor but for this story leads to unforeseen
consequences. We expect Mr. Freeman is a good filmmaker and we
have no doubt that he will construct another movie. WE can't wait to
see his next movie and we know that improvements will be a thing of
the past for director Marcus Freeman.
rated this movie using the TSIRS rating standard and rated "The
Prank" as a 4.3 out of 5 stars on the TSIRS.
Marcus Freeman talked about his movie and about his transition from
Actor to Filmmaker in our 40th issue of C47Houston WEEKLY. You can
order that issue at:
time: 16min 18sec
Friday, August 28th, 2015 at The Furniture Management Group
Popi Marx Production
by: Darion Ceo Nelson, Charnele Brown, Lionel Hilliard and Marcus
by: Marcus Freeman
by: Marcus Freeman
Director: Toni Womack
Yus G. Marto
by: Marcus Collett
Operator: Michael Chhay and Christopher Decoteau
Mixer/Boom Operator: Chris Mullins
Grip: Juan Carlos Rivera
by: Yus G. Marto
Editor: Melelani Petersen
Editor: Diego Rivera
Editor: Laura Aguilar
Coordinator/Casting: Charnele Brown
Designer: Marcus Freeman
and Makeup by: D'Kendra Griffin
by: Christopher Blue
Kedrin Birdwell as Kevin Chambers, Gregory Malonson as Doug Smith,
Greta Jordan-Williams as Dawn McAfee, Jelessa Robinson as Francesca
Hampton, Felecha Addison-Williams as Fee Wycloff, Mae Banks as
Sharon Robinson, Deidra Turnak, Tedman Brown, Darion Ceo Nelson,
Swantia Smith, Toni Womack, Karen Davis, Travis Wethers, Tiffany
Thomas, Charnele Brown
written by: H.Luna, Producer at C47Houston News & Entertainment
Magazine Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
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