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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA alumnus produces a dream with ‘Green Guys’

    Bryan Chesin graduated last May from the UA School of Media Arts. Like many newly minted graduates, finding a stable paycheck has not been easy. Unlike most graduates, this is because he has been shopping his first film as a producer.

    Chesin has been working on a film titled “”Green Guys.”” He explains his role: “”The producer is the guy who makes everything happen. I talked to people, got us booked places.”” Over the phone, he trailed off laughing, then added, “”I kind of did everything.””

    Chesin wasn’t the only one taking part in the film. Director and one-time UA student Cole Mueller transferred to the University of Southern California after two years in Tucson. The two remained in contact until Mueller shared a script with Chesin last April. The script was a new-age look at the Bernie Madoff scandal. Upon reading it, Chesin remembers, “”I just said, ‘Wow, this is great.'””

    The script was about four men trying to get rich quick. They pitch ideas to investors and, in Chesin’s words, “”shuffle the money around and take the cake.”” Whereas Madoff did not begin his Ponzi scheme until close to his 50th birthday, the characters in “”Green Guys”” are all in their early 20s.

    “”We are not trying to romanticize our main characters, but, much like every other college student in America, you’re always looking at greener pastures. It’s really attractive to you. The great thing about this movie is that it is relatable. It’s about the American Dream,”” Chesin says.

    As Chesin describes, it the entire crew is living that dream. They sound more like a group of friends than the business partners depicted in the film. Mueller and Chesin have been best friends since they were 9 years old. Chesin and co-producer Ryan Bragg were friends during Chesin’s freshman year at the UA. Bragg brought executive producer and longtime friend Sean Meier on board to bankroll the film. Even lead actors Kris Lemche, Christopher Redman and David Phillips have known each other since high school. Now they are all in a feature film together.

    Chesin says these backgrounds strengthened the dynamic. “”Everybody just clicked. You couldn’t even call it work, coming to the set. It was a blast.”” Chesin later likened his relationship with Mueller to the on-screen relationship of E and Vinny Chase on HBO’s “”Entourage.”” “”We felt like our dreams were slowly coming true.””

    Shot entirely in Phoenix, “”Green Guys”” benefitted from the faux-LA setting. “”We had so many hook-ups in Phoenix. People had really nice houses we could shoot at or restaurants that let us shoot for free. It cut down on the cost of the movie too,”” Chesin says. He laughs loudly and adds, “”I can’t even imagine how much it would have been otherwise.””

    The cheaper sets allowed more money to be spent on acting talent. “”Green Guys”” features cameos by Phoenix-based rapper Willy Northpole and William Russ. Russ is best known for playing Cory Matthews’ father, Alan, on the classic TV show “”Boy Meets World.”” Chesin says he was a little star-struck by Russ.

    “”I mean, I used to watch him every day on TGIF (a family-friendly programming block on ABC from 1988 through 2005). I took a picture with him and got real excited,”” he says.

    It’s comforting to hear such sincerity from the producer of a movie about scams.

    “”Green Guys”” is currently wrapping post-production. After the score is finalized, Chesin plans to find distribution for the picture. The crew has already lined up screenings with Paramount Pictures. They hope to get into film festivals to generate buzz around the film, which will premiere at the Lake Arrowhead film festival in Northern San Bernadino this April.

    Unlike the characters of the film, and average college graduates, Chesin says that his goal was never to make money.

    “”My goal was to make something I enjoyed. I loved this movie, and I hope there’s people out there like me,”” Chesin says. “”I got to work with my best friend every day.””

    And it sounds like he really means it.

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