Up Top is a feature-length (84 minute) film that is currently a work in progress. The film focuses on eight summer camp counselors and takes place exclusively in the setting of the counselor smoking area at said camp. We see them grow closer, people come and go, and we rely on the goings-on outside of this space and on the testimony of these characters. Up Top is a character study as well as an experience in geographic bonding. How do these people who would never even have met, much less become friends, become so close? It is purely because they frequent the same space and feel they have nowhere else to go. They find refuge in one another, whether it’s comforting or not; they could be anyone.
This process relied heavily on the actors. They were able to workshop their lines and adapt them to their speech; they were heavily encouraged to build real routines and relationships with one another since so much of the plot relies on human bonds. We had a three-month rehearsal period to simulate what it would be like to be working together for seven weeks, and the way they bonded heavily influenced the final piece.
The film is still in the editing process due to the lack of equipment that I have at the moment, since being displaced due to COVID-19. The new release date is currently late June. At this point in time, to see such closeness, both physically and emotionally, while I engage in the editing process has given me such comfort. I hope that with after the film’s completion, I will be able to find myself back in a circle of chairs with the people most important to me—just as we were during the process.
Eva, American, Photo Counselor – Edie Kyle Salas-Miller
Lukas, German, Rocks and Ropes Counselor – John Baller
Esme, Irish, Pottery Counselor – Charlotte Frances
Caoimhe, Irish, Soccer Counselor – Amrita Newton
Tessa, English, Office Worker – Kaiya Kirk
Nadja, Georgian, Office Worker – Tamar Giligashvili
Juan, Mexican, Waterski Counselor – Mateo Clark-Jones
Indiana, American, Lacrosse Counselor – Louis Celt