Applause for a Cause to premiere film about moving on


Source: Applause for a Cause

Applause for a Cause will premiere its film, “New Playlist,” this weekend. All proceeds will benefit Connections for Abused Women and their Children.

Kimberly Go, Reporter


Applause for a Cause, a NU student production company, is continuing to “make a reel difference” with the premiere of its comedy film “New Playlist.” All proceeds collected from the Saturday and Sunday evening showings will go to the non-profit organization Connections for Abused Women and their Children.

“New Playlist” is about a girl named Charlie who, after breaking up with her rockstar boyfriend, moves from Chicago back to her hometown suburb to try and find her way in life.

School of Communication junior Summer Benowitz wrote the script for the story last year after she went through a personal break-up.

“I was writing about just the feeling of loneliness and doom that I felt after pulling away from somebody I had known for two years and had gotten really close to,” she said.

Caroline Henry, who plays the main character, Charlie, said “New Playlist” is not a “dramatic exploration of existence,” but rather a reflection of how our current culture functions.

“A lot of us hide behind these walls of sarcasm with our friends and family about real things that are underlying them,” the Communication senior said. “(Benowitz) writes in a casual tone which is really true to contemporary discourse, but it gets at some really poignant decisions that people actually make nowadays.”

Directors and producers from Applause started preparing for the film last May, said Communication sophomore and co-producer Yvonne Zhang. She and the rest of the creative team started collecting scripts over the summer and by August had picked “New Playlist” as their choice.

During Fall Quarter, they began pre-production. Benowitz, who is also a co-writer for NU Channel 1’s “Ghouls,” started workshopping her script, developing the story arc and hitting some of the comedic beats harder.

“I think it’s a relatable story,” Benowitz said. “I think that I wrote it with our age in mind, maybe a little older, about the struggles that we’re going through — trying to find jobs, trying to figure out our relationships — and that’s important.”

Henry said her character, Charlie, re-evaluates her life after her break-up.

“She spends a lot of time kind of shaping her life around men,” she said. “Once all of that is sort of lifted out from underneath her, she feels like maybe this life isn’t really what she wanted. And then (she starts) navigating how to start over and find herself.”

Co-director Irene Jiang said her favorite scene in the movie is the dream sequence, which is where all the various men in Charlie’s life come to her and tell her all of her insecurities.

“I think it’s where we were allowed the most creativity in terms of choosing shots and making things as interesting as we wanted to,” the Communication sophomore said.

The team, which consists of around 50 people, filmed the movie for thirteen 20-hour weekends, Jiang said.

“It was really difficult being consistent and consistently having things in place every weekend,” she said. “For a project like this, everything just comes at you so fast that you just sort of have to face everything as it comes.”

However, Jiang said that there isn’t anything else like Applause at NU.

“It’s the only feature-length film that students make, students act in and students produce,” she said. “Students do everything for it, so it’ll be great to see a year’s worth of hard work come to fruition.”

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