Time for our final Short Takes classes in the series, and Stacey's assigned to her first choice class: moviemaking. It's going to be taught by an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, and Stacey can't wait to get started. Carrie Murphy, the teacher, puts her into a group with Erica Blumberg, Pete Black, and Emily Bernstein. Erica is assigned the role of director, Pete is the cinematographer, Emily is the producer, and Stacey is the screenwriter. At first, they try to film a sort of horror movie about zombies taking over SMS, but that ends up looking stupid. Then, Stacey gets the idea to film a documentary instead. They'll interview different kids about life as a middle school student, and try to give people a clear picture about what goes on in the mind of the average SMS student. The group starts by interviewing Pete, and Stacey is surprised at what he reveals. Pete wishes he could drive, and have an actual job, so he can get out of Stoneybrook that much sooner. Abby is up next; she kind of freaks out when Erica points out that she's an awful lot like her mom (both of them cram their days full of stuff). Next is Jessi, who has some surprising things to say about being a black kid in a (mostly) white world. Stacey is especially shocked by her comments. Then comes Cokie; she kind of calls the BSC out for thinking they're better than everyone else, and points out that ALL cliques probably feel that way, to some extent. Next up is Claudia, who talks about how hard school is, and how she doesn't feel that artistic talent is rewarded. Stacey tries to interview Emily next, but Emily won't reveal anything really juicy. In fact, she keeps turing things around and asking Stacey questions.
Things take an interesting turn when Stacey's group interviews Mary Anne. It's pretty clear that she's in a bad mood, and when she's questioned, she admits that she sometimes hates her mother for dying. It's a great interview...but Mary Anne wants it cut. She'd had a fight with Sharon right before her interview about Sharon's forgetfulness, and she had gone into it thinking that maybe her birth mother wouldn't be so scatterbrained. Stacey tries to get her group to cut the interview, but they all vote to keep it in. Then, Stacey herself is interviewed and reveals some stuff about her parents' divorce that she wishes that she hadn't, and she understands where Mary Anne was coming from before. The others in the group STILL won't take any of the material from either interview out, so Stacey gets the idea to film explanations from both herself and Mary Anne. Those both make it into the final cut.
Subplot: Kristy is also in the film class, and she's in a group with Alan Grey, Logan, and Anna. As usual, Kristy takes over. She especially pisses off Alan, and she even starts to put the movie (they're filming BSC charges doing funny stuff) over the safety of the subjects. Eventually, she starts acting a little less annoying.
Thoughts and Things
- I thought it was totally lame that they added in those little explanations after Mary Anne's and Stacey's interviews. Neither of them said anything that was that bad, and the movie probably would have been better if they'd just used the original interviews.
- So...the students now get to choose their own Short Takes classes? In the past, everyone in the school had to take the same class at the same time.
- This book actually wasn't horrible...Stacey lucked out with her last one.
- Since when did Stacey become such a movie buff? She goes on and on about how fascinated she is with filmmaking, and how awful it'll be if she's not assigned to her first choice ST class.