Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 24, 1995

On Students:
Pizza Boy Caught At Wrong Place In Undergrads' Homegrown Film

Leslie Rice
Homewood News and Information

     Gil Jawetz clung for life to a door handle as the maroon
1972 El Dorado convertible lurched over a bump on a Stuartsville,
Pa., back road. The Hopkins senior was sitting on top of the left
back door, his body leaning as much out of the car as possible
without falling out. While he nearly toppled out of the car, the
camera man, perched on the opposite door, managed to keep his
balance and lens on the driver. 

     It had been a long, beastly hot day, and the crew filming
Mardi Gras, Baltimore had been at it since 6 a.m. 

     "Between the heat, and Gil nearly losing his life three
different times between bumps and sharp curves in the road,
tempers had begun to fray," said senior Matt Gross, who
co-directs the student film with Jawetz. "Then they stopped the
car, and the actors got out to film what's supposed to be a tense
scene where words are exchanged. With all the tension in the air,
the scene went exactly right in one take. It may turn out to be
one of the best scenes in the movie."

     Last Monday, Gross and Jawetz wrapped up shooting a
30-minute feature film they co-wrote and directed in
neighborhoods like Charles Village, Roland Park and Guilford.
Most of the film's shoestring budget was made possible by a
Provost Office undergraduate research grant. The students plan to
finish the film in time for the annual Milton S. Eisenhower
Symposium in October, said Gross who co-chairs the symposium,
entitled "Framing Society: A Century of Cinema." 

     Mardi Gras, Baltimore chronicles the escapades of Charlie, a
pizza delivery boy who delivers a sub to a bank security guard
the same time the bank is robbed. Charlie is kidnapped by the
robber, and through a series of screwups, so are his girlfriend
Sophie and Natalie, the 12-year-old girl for whom Sophie

     The movie was filmed in one frenetic week with a
professional production crew and actors, as well as a handful of
Hopkins friends who volunteered to play extras and help on the
set. Charlie is played by local actor Johnny Alonso, who has
appeared on "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and is currently
working in a pilot series for Maryland Public Television. 

     "Gil and I are really pleased at how smoothly the production
went," said Gross, who, like Jawetz, is a Writing Seminars major.
"There was intense pressure the entire time, but it was exciting.
I would never have thought, for example, that I would be able to
rewrite an entire scene that would be shot that day and have it
turn out to be pretty good."

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