BONDED: The Musical [The Movie] is a one-act chemical comedy. Dr. Adams, a young, established chemistry professor meets Dr. Iona, a new hire at the university. Things go awry when Dr. Planck, the head of the Chemistry Department, assigns them to co-teach Chemistry 101 together. Eventually, the two form an unlikely bond over their love for chemistry.
Interview with producers Nicole Goldstein, Rachel Jones and Christopher Strunk
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Bonded: The Musical [The Movie] started out as a class project for our Producing and Directing class while we attended James Madison University.
The idea for making Bonded: The Musical [The Movie] came from a friend of Rachel Jones, our cinematographer/co-producer on the project. Matthew Gurniak, a senior theatre and chemistry double-major, was producing a staged reading of his Senior Honors Thesis titled Bonded: The Musical. With his permission, Rachel pitched the idea to the class as a potential film and it was one of four that were selected.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
There are several reasons why you should watch this film. At its core, it is a simple love story. As audience members we all understand and want to experience love, so we are drawn to characters that are experiencing that love.
Chemistry in our film, both romantically and scientifically, allows the audience member to experience something unique and different to their normal lives.
Finally, you should watch our film because it’s entertaining, it’s memorable, and it’s an escape from everyday life. Who doesn’t want to sit down and enjoy a comedic love story about chemistry?
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
We believe that people who are either dealing with crushes, or dealing with complicated relationships will be able to relate to our main characters. A universal theme of love and joy can be seen throughout our film. The joyous way these characters express themselves through song is a universal language. These characters are relatable because they have their flaws and their quirks, which can be what makes the relationship work. A universal theme that shines throughout the film is that opposites attract and that people can work past their differences.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The script was beautifully and potently written by Matthew Gurniak, however, with any adapted work, some of the story had to be altered to keep the film within the required time limit for the project. We probably had about four or five drafts throughout the pre-production phase. During rewrites, a character named Dr. Planck went from being a leading character in the staged reading to just a voice-over in the film.
Some of the songs had to be cut down and one was completely removed in order to fit time constraints. However, even with all of these cuts we tried to stay as close to the original story as possible. We hope that with Bonded: The Musical [The Movie]’s story still reflects its original self and that everyone can enjoy both the stage reading, and the movie.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
One of the best things we have seen is that people really think its funny. It’s easy to gauge whether or not people find things funny, and a crowd full of laughter can’t lie. Many also have said that we kept a good balance between songs and dialogue.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Personally, the feedback was definitely a surprise. When first shown at SMADFest (our school’s student film festival) the audience was laughing throughout the piece and it really felt like they were becoming a part of the story that we set out to tell. Also, any kind of feedback as a filmmaker will ultimately help me and my partners become better filmmakers. It has personally changed our perspectives on the film making business as well as challenged our abilities to make creative films.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
With having our film posted on wearemovingstories.com, we hope to achieve a wider audience so that more people can see our film. We hope that the exposure on wearemovingstories.com can help expand the possibilities of what a short film can be and how we, as young filmmakers, have the ability to create a successful piece of art and display it for audiences to watch and enjoy.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Any and all support from the film community is something for which we are striving. As young filmmakers entering into the business, we have much to learn in the ways of the business of film. We would love mentors as producers, sales agents, buyers, etc. Generating enthusiasm and having this work seen is the most important thing we can do.
Specifically we would love to see the participation of journalists and film festival directors amplifying this film’s message. Journalists have a platform that can reach a large audience and we want to reach as many people as possible. Film Festival directors can also provide a platform for our movie to be seen to a much larger audience. They create spaces that are filled with intellectual discussion and our film would benefit from being exposed to a larger audience.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Of course with any movie it is hard to know exactly what impact it will have with any audience. We can only hope that our movie can impact the way people think about and consume movie musicals. Part of our message is interdisciplinary work. We believe that content is better when it can transcend disciplines to become something greater than the sum of its parts. By the mixing of chemistry, theatre, and film into this short, we created something that built upon all of those disciplines to create something better.
Not only would we like to be ambassadors for the cause of collaborative work, we also want to make the audience laugh and have a good time. Any time an audience member leaves with a smile on their face, we feel we have made a positive impact on them.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How can we all bring the separate parts of ourselves together to create something that excels beyond our initial expectations?
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Nicole Goldstein will be moving out to Los Angeles at the end of September to pursue a career in the film industry. She is also currently writing a new screenplay.
Matthew Gurniak is currently in his last semester at James Madison University, finishing his theatre and chemistry degrees.
Rachel Jones will be touring with Virginia Repertory Children's Theatre as an actor for the next year.
Christopher Strunk is currently finishing his last semester at James Madison University and will be pursuing a career in film and animation.
Interview: August 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Bonded: The Musical [The Movie]
About the writer, director and producer:
Director: Nicole Goldstein, originally from Tennessee, has made several short films over the course of her studies at James Madison University.
Cinematographer: Rachel Jones, originally hailing from Maryland, studied both theatre and film, and is now pursing a career in acting.
Editor: Christopher Strunk, originally from Virginia, is currently studying Media Arts and Design at James Madison University.
Writer: Matt Gurniak, originally from Pennsylvania, is studying both theatre and chemistry at James Madison University. He enjoys writing original works.
Key cast: Jake Kantor as Dr. Newt Adams, Lindsay Bohon as Dr. Ann Iona, Olivia Ice and Morgan Arrivillaga as Students, Cody Edwards as Kelvin.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): Mentors of any kind.
Made in association with:
James Madison University and The School of Media Arts and Design.
Release date: May 3rd, 2016 at SMADFest 2016.
Where can I watch it in the next month?
As of right now we have submitted to many other film festivals and will hopefully we hearing from them soon! In the mean time you can check out the website (bondedthemusical.com) to see the trailer, behind the scenes, information about the cast and crew, and more!