Back in high school, my friends and I started shooting movies for fun. We were run ‘n gun filmmakers who didn’t have a clue what we were doing. We just grabbed a camera and started shooting, and we had a lot of fun doing it.
When we were in college, we decided to make a feature-length (that’s right, over 2 hours long) movie called Dust that took place across three different cities, primarily dictated by where we went to school. Looking back, we were pretty naive to think that we could pull off a movie about “cops and drug dealers”, when we were 19 and had no budget. But we were ambitious and blinded by our vision.
We struggled through a very long and intense shooting schedule full of accidents, arguments, an unfortunate visit to the police station, and bad acting (because I was actually in it). Finally, after about a year’s worth of work, we cut together the final pieces of the movie at my friend Andy’s place during winter break. We were both relieved and excited. There were several times during production, when we weren’t even sure we would complete the film. Unlike Hollywood where an incomplete film meant millions of invested dollars being lost, an incomplete film for us would mean a failure of what we set out to do as a team.
In the end, our film was… well, mediocre (but better than the other crap we made in high school). But the experience itself was incredibly rewarding. A lot of friendships were tested and ended up stronger than ever. And as cheesy as it sounds, we learned that we had the ability to push through and finish anything we set our minds to…. even if the script is bad.
So I had to pay homage to the experience that was Dust by having an episode with that title in The Hayley Project. So here it is. A little shout out to the original Dust cast and crew….
Note: The actual content has very little to do with the plot of the original Dust.