In “The College Project,” a carefree high school senior (Disney Channel’s Milo Manheim) uses college interviews as a scheme to hit on girls all across Los Angeles. The senior, Cyrus, puts on different personas in waiting rooms to appeal to the girls, not even interviewing or applying to any of the colleges. After his flirting with Valerie (Holiday Kriegel) backfires horribly in the interview waiting room for Northwestern, Cyrus genuinely falls for the girl. An unlikely relationship forms over time. But when Valerie is admitted to Northwestern for early decision, Cyrus lies and says that he was also accepted despite not even applying, fearful that his relationship will end if he tells the truth. As Cyrus struggles to raise his grades in the hopes of receiving a regular decision admittance to Northwestern, he must reevaluate what exactly he hopes to achieve in his own future and who he chooses to become.
I originated the concept for “The College Project” in the crowded waiting room for my own Northwestern interview. As my eyes wandered across the sea of interviewees, I realized that I had never met a single one of them before. In the vein of “Wedding Crashers” meeting “Superbad,” I placed an indifferent character in an unlikely environment to hit on girls. I wanted to shed light upon the anxieties of the college process, an experience I recently shared with millions across the globe. Like Cyrus, some may choose to disregard the process entirely while others embrace the opportunity to create a future for themselves (like Cyrus finally does at the film’s conclusion).
This is a deeply personal work of mine as well as my final film before the end of high school. I look forward to continue creating films with human stories. After completing postproduction on my film, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to share it on FilmLocal where I could connect with an international community of inventive and courageous storytellers.
“The College Project” was shot over a period of five days. My cast and crew filmed at various locations in Los Angeles, including an In-N-Out and a high school.
My name is Jared Press. Enjoy the film.
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