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Favorite comedies inspire Ridgewood student filmmaker

Inside the Carrousel

NOVEMBER 27, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2015, 12:31 AM

The obstacles to write and direct a film are endless but not insurmountable for a student filmmaker endeavoring to succeed.

Grant Olans, a 2013 Ridgewood High School graduate and now a junior at Emerson College in Boston, is currently working on the post-production stages of what he calls his “most ambitious” short film to date. Having more resources at his disposal, for example, has proved a considerable challenge from what he was accustomed to in the past.

“Before, it was just me holding a camera and working with a couple of actors,” said Olans. “It’s a big crew now with more equipment. There are more moving parts and logistics that you have to keep track of.”

The short film — a project for his intermediate film production class — has been in the works since early October and is called “Inside the Carrousel.” Its concept was derived from two of Olans’ favorite movies, the 1985 comedy-drama “After Hours” and the 1986 romantic-comedy “Something Wild.”

In fact, the main scene in Olans’ eight-minute production is a re-creation of a sequence from the latter. His version, however, looks to antiquate the original 29-year-old scene.

The setting is a French restaurant, where a troubled man named Lance has lost his wallet and can’t leave without paying his bill. His quest to find a way out leads to several encounters. Without wanting to reveal too much, Olans admitted to toying with the idea of karmic punishment.

“The main character can’t connect to his daughter through his own flaws,” explained Olans. “So, losing his wallet and not being able to pay his bill are my own little forms of punishment until he can wake up and make things right.”

The film isn’t overly arty and experimental, said Olans, but rather a remarkably straightforward story with a slightly different narrative. He hopes that this attempt at finding his voice in his way of telling stories will appeal to audiences when he submits “Inside the Carrousel” to film festivals in the coming months.

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