Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Laura Parnes

Abstract/Artist's Statement

“A Reason To Be Larry” is an identity story. The film follows Larry, a high-schooler who, through various efforts and encounters, begins to embrace the harsh reality that he may never be one of the “Great Larrys” (Larry David, Larry King, Larry Bird…), who all brought glory to an otherwise unfortunate name. By the end, Larry comes to realize that maybe just being Larry is enough. Although Larry doesn’t see what his impact will be on the world, the audience gets to see that he has one. The movie is bookended by a glimpse of a post-apocalyptic future, where a ‘nuclear janitor’ spends his days spraying tar on an abandoned, radioactive high school. Within these halls lie the ruins of Larry’s locker, where his small story is contained. A friend noted that “A Reason to Be Larry” is less about Larry and more about the Janitor, who finally learns to love his thankless job. I really like that reading of the movie, too. This project itself is a mosaic of different mediums I love and practice. From the original score, 3D animation, special effects and screenplay— the result is a highly personal and handmade tale. I knew I wanted my senior project to showcase my own eclectic interests, so choosing a small story that would allow me to incorporate all those elements in the production became the jumping off point. The character of Larry is an amalgamation of kids I knew growing up, and is played by one of my oldest childhood friends. The name Larry came from a real balloon artist, Larry Ross, who was going to be a potential subject of mine when I was brainstorming ideas for my senior project. I decided to shoot the movie on a MiniDV camcorder. Besides my general fascination with antiquated technology, it imbued the movie with a sense of timelessness. It’s unclear what era the film takes place, which works, because the questions Larry faces transcend any particular moment in time. I included several “gross up close ups,” which were executed with practical special effects. This is a device widely used in TV animation, where something grotesque about a character is suddenly showcased in great detail, and close up, in a style that is vastly different than the rest of the show. Again, this felt befitting of high school, a time when most of us see our imperfect selves through a warped lens.

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On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

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