The red carpet was rolled out in front of the ATLAS building Feb. 15, 2009, for a Hollywood-style premiere of the film “Woodshop,” a locally produced comedy starring Jesse Ventura (in photo above at left) and University of Colorado theater freshman Scott Ryan.
The event included showings of the movie to the media, invited guests and members of the production. It received widespread print, television and online coverage. The movie currently is being released for distribution throughout the United States.
“Woodshop is kind of a modern day Breakfast Club. It is about a group of high school kids who all end up in a Saturday Woodshop detention. I will say, however, it is a bit edgier and a lot more tongue-in-cheek than Breakfast Club,” said Pete Coggan, the producer, writer and director of the movie, in an online chat session with Boulder Camera newspaper reporters. Coggan is a University of Colorado performance music alumnus who directed, produced and wrote Woodshop.
The movie is the first film produced by Coggan’s 42 Productions in Boulder and utilized high-tech digital cameras as well as familiar Colorado locations, including Fairview High School in Boulder. ATLAS was chosen for the premiere as “a world-class media facility” that reflected the Colorado flavor of the film production, which was shot entirely in Colorado, according to 42 Productions.
The main character of Woodshop, Chris (played by Ryan), is a high school senior with the goal of making it through high school unscathed and move on to an Ivy League college. But when he causes an accident in his chemistry class, he is ordered by his principal to spend Saturdays in woodshop detention with the woodshop teacher (Ventura), who is an ex-Army Ranger, and a bad kid gone really bad who intends to blow them all up.
Ventura, an actor who is a former professional wrestler and former governor of Minnesota, has appeared in several films, including Predator, The Running Man and Demolition Man.
Woodshop’s high school principal is played by actor Don Davis, best known as Gen. Hammond in the long-running television series Stargate SG-1. Mitch Pileggi, a veteran of the television series X-Files and Stargate: Atlantis, plays the character Agent Miller. The film also features a cameo appearance by former Denver Bronco Rod Smith as an FBI agent, and several other Colorado actors, including Jeff Nixon, a senior mechanical engineering student at CU.
Woodshop was filmed over several months in the spring of 2008. Use of RED ONE digital cinema cameras enabled Coggan to use less lighting equipment and a smaller crew, which also allowed the production to move quickly. The entire feature was completed in 21 shooting days.
The ground-breaking cameras also allowed the filmmakers to capture film resolution (4k) images without traditional costs associated with film, such as film stock and processing. Takes were reviewed at high resolution in a mobile editing suite, set up in a mobile home parked just outside the set—a strategy also not possible in traditional film production.
The 4K technology “is roughly five times the size of HD and is sometimes referred to as digital cinema,” Coggan said in the chat. “It is pretty much like a hydrogen-powered car showing up on your doorstep.” RED, which is headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif., “has finally produced a camera that allows you to make movies that are not dictated by cost per resolution. It gives us the best pencil we have ever had,” Coggan said.