Author: Ella Fornari
Occidental should have been courteous enough to leave a note before Fall Break started that film crews were coming to campus last Tuesday. Students who checked and made it all the way to the end of Oxy Digest on Oct. 15 were notified that the TV show “Arrested Development” would be coming to campus the next day to shoot its new season. Contrary to its name, Fall Break is certainly not a break from work for the many Occidental students who still have midterms after the extended weekend. My plan for the long weekend was to sit in solitary confinement all of Tuesday in order to finish the four take-home mid-terms I had acquired for the “break.” Upon receiving the news that “Arrested Development” was planning a shoot – in the library, particularly – I recognized my plan for productivity was an illusion. I also could not help but think that even students not in the “Arrested Development” cult deviated from their plans to study in the library because the film crew’s monstrous presence on campus. The film crew’s distracting presence was only exacerbated because they came the weekend between so many students’ mid-terms. To combat this, Occidental should be more conscious of organizing film crews with student schedules.
Anyone who is a fan of the show can vouch that one does not simply like “Arrested Development”, as the followers of the show can only be described as cultish. Without hesitation, I identify myself as a member of this cult. Since the show’s preemptive cancellation in 2006, it has gained a huge following. The creator of “Arrested Development”, Mitch Hurwitz, has poked fun at the possibility of there being an “Arrested Development” movie ever since the show went off the air. Last October, this joke became reality, when at a reunion panel at “The New Yorker 2011 Festival,” Mitch and the cast announced there would not only be a movie, but also a new season of the show. The “Arrested Development” cult may have found it worth it to abandon work to see the film crew, but in hindsight, trying to catch a glimpse of Michael Cera proved to be distractor the budgeted time for academics.
Occidental probably choose Fall Break to allow filming because the school thought fewer students would be on campus when classes were not in session, making the filming crew less intrusive. Although many students go home for Fall Break, a large majority stay because of the break itself is poorly timed in the middle of mid-terms.
That aside, to make film crews less meddlesome, Occidental should have scheduled the filming earlier than late in the break in order to make the filming a less meddlesome event. The last day of Fall Break was the most disruptive day to film because students that left were returning and it was the final countdown for those who stayed on campus with mid-terms.
Filming on location at Occidental is not novel to students, but the recent “Arrested Development” filming is indicative of the college’s lack of awareness of student schedules. In 2006 (coincidentally the year “Arrested Development” was canceled?), Occidental hired film location agency “Unreel Locations” to advertise the campus to film studios, showing the college not only allows filming but openly advocates for it.
There is a huge financial incentive for having film crews come to campus. With the current state of the economy, there isn’t always money in the banana stand. Having film crews come to campus is an easy way for Occidental to make money and advertise the school in the process. But Next time ”Arrested Development” or any other production comes to film, Occidental should be more aware of student schedules and notify students of crews coming more than a dozen hours ahead of time, especially if it’s around midterms.
Ella Fornari is an undeclared first-year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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