“Losers” – behind the scenes of award-winning film

WINNING SMILES on crew member’s faces before the festival (Jonathan Bisch)

Arantza Villarroel | Writer

May 23, 2024

In less than nine minutes, “Losers” achieves to show the lives of four people in an intensive therapy session, all with absurd past stories, and borderline exaggerated feelings they express so confidently through flashbacks. The film won Best Picture in the Film Festival on May 21, 2024 and has made the members of the group insanely proud of their work. Makena Wood, Jaken Rancourt, Sage Lang, Daniel Cabla, Grant Goth, and Delaney Myton all brought to life the short film, through weeks of hard work during class, hours of script-planning and late nights editing. 

The group formed to complete an assignment for their film class. They had five weeks to plan, record, and successfully complete the video that was going to be shown in the Film Festival the school was so excited to host. The event was completely free, and hosted on the Triton Center. Three hours long and 11 videos total, all proof of the hard-work and passion of the students. 

Standing out from the rest is “Losers” produced by the whole crew’ together, but directed mainly by senior Jakan Rancourt and junior Makena Wood.

PEN AND PAPER READY to annotate loser’s trauma stories (Jakan Rancourt).

The catching idea of the film came from a friend of the group members who was not even in the class with them. “He said, as a joke, how fun it would be to make a video about AA members talking about their problems, just to laugh after,” exclaimed Wood. Even though the original idea came as a joke, the members genuinely liked it. “We decided to change the AA idea to a therapy session because we did not want to have repetitive stories,” stated Rancourt, right after Wood. That is when the absurd ideas for the character’s traumas started to flow. A frustrated bad singer who did not get the lead, or a arrogant runner who publicly lost a competition because his opponent cheated were just some of the funny ideas that were coming out of the friends’ mouths. The comfortable environment and close bond really lead to a smooth experience script-writing, with some extra help from Rancourt.

The shooting process was not much different from the preparation. Giggles in between friends interrupted the shots, and they spent hours trying to showcase the perfect set of emotions in the actor’s eyes. Around five days later, where they incessantly moved up and down the school, from the little theater, to the hidden classroom that served as the therapy office, shooting was done. Wood believes that was the most tedious part of doing the film due to the lighting. “If the scenes do not match, then the film feels poorly made. We had to re-shoot more than once each scene in the film to match the atmosphere of the original ones.” A long, confusing, and annoying process to say the least, but that attention to detail definitely made the film appear as professional as it did on the special night. 

After all, the final product fell on Rancourt’s hands, who proudly did all the editing for the video. “I would edit every week. Every time something new was filmed I would get home and fix it all,” he stated. This constant work really helped the total shots of film not to accumulate, but it took some time off his day most of the time. After editing, he would combine the scenes, add transitions, and music. Even a day before the competition they were still adding new shots to the film. 

“Losers” made the audience laugh more than any other film. Anytime a new flashback from a character would come on the screen, the laughs would quiet off to hear, just to start again after every minimal joke. The students knew how to appeal to the public to perfection. All their efforts were rewarded with the award they won, applauses from viewers, and congratulating hand-shakes at the end of the night. 

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