Life through the big lens
February 8, 2023
Whether it’s Charleston, Pa., or N.Y., senior Brody Bundis proves the art of filmmaking can be made anywhere.
Expanding his creative writing abilities, Bundis found his purpose in writing scripts for short films influenced by a variety of striking personal experiences.
“I start by brainstorming an idea initially from something that’s inspired me or a piece of media, create the script; it usually takes a couple weeks,” Bundis said.
This is only the beginning. The whole process of creating one of his films can take at least a month.
“We develop and go to pre production, plan out shoplist, get some other collaborators- that usually takes another couple weeks or more. Then find some filmmakers to work with, then go out, set a time, shoot the film, go into post-production, edit it, finalize it, and share it around,” Bundis said.
Depending on how big the production is, Bundis works with others to help out with filming, writing, editing, and more.
Caleb Boughn, a friend of Bundis, has worked together on a couple of projects in N.Y. and Pa. with Bundis.
“I’m not very good at organizing my ideas so my favorite part is coming up with ideas and how that idea comes to life…I’m more of a big ideas person. Brody is a little more of like the small minuet details,” Boughn said.
After Boughn brainstorms the central ideas for their films, Bundis quickly gets to work formulating the script based on his ideas.
“He’s a very detailed writer and technician. He’s a really great partner to work with, we compliment each other well being complete polar opposites,” Boughn said.
Back in N.Y., Boughn and Bundis worked in their first real film set together on a project called “Boyz”, but was never published.
“Boyz” is a sit-com dramedy based on the lives of high school students who attend a performing arts high school where Boughn and Bundis filmed in various locations on the streets of New York City.
“We did the whole film in over three days. We filmed in Washington Park, we filmed on the Riverside Park, we filmed at one of my friend’s houses … that’s probably never going to come out but it was an amazing experience because it was both of our first times being on a real set and doing a real project,” Boughn said.
Although they have worked on multiple films together, they only published one film called ‘Lonely Road’ that is available to watch on Youtube.
“It’s a very good film. It’s a silent short film that we made back when he lived in Pennsylvania just over a day and it’s about a guy traveling somewhere and that’s very cool,” Boughn said.
Bundis also worked with his friend Joelie Leopold on one of Bundis’ films in New York.
“I was an assistant on one of his sets. This was before I ever got into film, I just helped if he needed anything,” Leopold said.
Leopold currently works as an assistant director where she is in charge of time management and is responsible for keeping the cast and crew on task for the director.
“I’m basically the boss of everyone on set. The difference between an assistant director and a director is that the director makes all the creative decisions, the assistant director makes all the logistical decisions,” Leopold said.
Although she has a love for her position as an assistant director, Leopold has found an interest in screenwriting, just like Bundis.
She works on her own screenwriting projects, sometimes based on her own life; other times she’s inspired could be her fears, dreams, or relatable topics of society.
Even with the distance between them, Bundis and Leopold still collaborate by giving advice to one another’s writing.
“Now we just read each other’s work and we give advice on how we can improve it. We kind of just give each other ideas,” Leopold said.
In the future, Bundis plans to add to his list of productions by creating one named ‘Trying to be Funny’.
“It’s basically about a group of aspiring writers who are trying to come up with a sitcom idea and create the show that would be their big break. Kinda like that, Seinfeld-esque in like an episodic format,” Bundis said.
Eventually he would like to work in the film industry to expand his talents to other possible positions like business, directing, or producing. Over everything he works on during the process of filmmaking, Bundis’ favorite part of it is writing the script.
“I enjoy writing more than anything else just because I’m a writer. I mean I have been doing that the longest, so definitely writing,” Bundis said.
Despite the variety of writing paths, Bundis found his purpose through screenplay writing.
“I like telling stories, and I want to tell them in a greater format and share it with more people,” Bundis said.