With the lights set and the cameras rolling, a Quinnipiac University dance studio quickly turned into a television set. Actors took their places, read lines and a pilot was created.
The shoot is part of a workshop where students of all ages learn how to produce a comedy. They started writing it on Monday, reviewed it for Wednesday, shot it on Thursday and will finish up editing on Friday. The process usually takes four to five months in Hollywood. These students are doing it in a week.
"I've always wanted to know what it was like to create a sitcom, and when I saw this was creating a sitcom, I figured it was perfect. And knowing that Alan Wzeibel was running it was awesome," Frank DeRosa, of Wethersfield, said.
Wzeibel, an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, was one of the original writers of Saturday Night Live and he said the students are gaining invaluable hands-on experience.
"It's one thing to learn it bookwise, it's one thing to observe others, which is always great, but when you can do it yourself, and come in Monday with nothing, and now Thursday you're shooting what you wrote over the past few days, I think you can see the fruits of their labor," Wzeibel said.
Whether they're behind the camera or in front of it, the students are hoping that the class will help them with their careers in the future.
"Comedy is my passion, and I know that I want to write sitcoms. In five years, I said I want to be in the second season of my own television sitcom. That's where I want to be," Brad DePrima of Ridgefield, said.
For Neil Greenberg, an orthodontist, this might be a second career. His wife enrolled him in the course as an anniversary present and the 74-year-old is loving every aspect of it.
"I could be a star," Greenberg said.
After a week of production, he's on his way.