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The Prize

Brad is a huge Star Wars fan. He is pumped for the release of the new Star Wars film. He also has a college final exam, so he hatches a plan with friends to wait in line for him and he'll join them when he is done.

He completes his exam, but that's about the only thing that goes right.

Film notes

It is often amazing how a seemingly small event changes the outcome of one’s life. That’s what happened to Jason Prugar in 1999.

The year immortalized in a Prince song brought sweeping changes to the college sophomore. Jason learned he'd be a father and subsequently retired from basketball. He also joined the Student Government Association (SGA) as Treasurer. It was also the year that Star Wars returned to the big screen. The world had Star Wars fever, eagerly anticipating the first new film in 16 years. Jason was no exception, even going as far as to make plans to wait in line for tickets to go on sale.

One Thursday evening, the SGA faculty advisor was late for the weekly meeting. To pass the time, Jason’s friend Bryan Schaefer, a fellow SGA member, showed a video he made for literature class. He wrote, directed and edited it himself.

Something clicked in Prugar’s mind when the film ended. It was if a veil had been lifted; a box opened. A wealth of possibilities hit him and he’d never be the same. “I’ve often wondered what it’d be like to make my own film. If Bryan, a regular guy like me, could make a film, why couldn’t I?”

Jason immediately researched filmmaking techniques. It consumed his thoughts so completely that he remembers vividly the night Bryan showed the video but nothing about the subsequent 48 hours.

With Bryan's help, he crafted a script, gathered locations and his friends, excited about the project filled out the cast and crew. The shoot took 10 days, and like the story, had some delays. Police officers stopped the shoot twice but gave an enthusiastic thumbs up when they learned what was happeneing.

Initially, the film was constrained by VHS technology, but in 2006, Prugar went back and completed his vision, adding a Star Wars crawl, extra sound effects and music. It was the icing on the cake of a first film that played in a near sold out theater at the 2000 NY International Independent Film & Video Festival.

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Copyright © 1999 Jason Prugar

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 26 Oct 2010