When Sorority Girls Attack

This is probably my proudest moment at USC.  I realize now that WSGA moves a little slowly, but I still laugh at it.

I was taking a class that actually shot on 16mm film, rather than video, which was rare then (and even rarer, now).  There were sixteen students, but we were only going to make four films.

I figured a one-in-four shot wasn’t bad, but maybe I ought to partner up with somebody to hedge my bets.  After about two hours of class discussion, one girl seemed particularly on-the-ball. So, I talked Janel into working together to improve our odds of directing a project.

I knew I wanted to do something making fun of sorority girls, but I didn’t have a plot.  One day, when we were hanging out at Janel’s place, hashing out ideas, The Crocodile Hunter came on.

Suddenly, the idea was obvious.  Stan the Platypus Hunter would be studying a sorority house as if it were an animal den!  The rest pretty much writes itself.

The next week, everyone pitched their idea, and the class voted for the ones they wanted to make.  We only found out later that the professor actually penalized us for working as a team.  He discounted one of our votes for our own movie.  Luckily, When Sorority Girls Attack was still in the top four, and I got my first experience directing on film.

On a side note, the title was not my idea.  We just had this vague notion that we’d come up with something funny later.  When it was our turn to pitch, however, the professor said we had to call it something.  As I went through a few of our jokes, Janel wrote “When Sorority Girls Attack” behind me.

I hated it.  It refered to a completely different reality show, and it confused the premise of the film.  I swore we’d change it eventually.  Of course, everyone else thought it was hilarious.  Guess who won that fight?

Two other classmates joined the crew, Dave and Casey.  They were both hilarious guys, and added a lot to the script.  (Years later, Casey would be the production designer for my Monster Energy spec commercials.)

Just watch the credits, okay?

From right to left: Dave (the DP), Casey (the Editor), Me, Janel, and others who worked on the movie.

Early on, we were given a roll of film to shoot some test footage.  We got everything we needed in about 75 feet, so we just danced in front of the camera for the remaining 25, until it rolled out.  This somehow became a tradition at the end of every roll, and that’s what you see during the credits.

Casey (or maybe it was Janel?) knew someone at a pseudo-frat house.  The house was technically on the row, but it was an engineering frat, and also co-ed.  They didn’t really have a lot of parties there.  A lot of people did wind up as drunken extras, though.

WSGA was also the genesis of the Good Luck Alligator.  You can see him at around 5:38, on the floor, and again at 5:45 when Stan says, “Crikey, there’s a grip with a sock puppet.”  The grip, by the way, is Casey.

The only joke we cut, if I remember correctly, was Stan’s second attempt to get into the house.  We were going to parody the “clever girl” scene from Jurassic Park.  Stan would approach a “wounded” sorority girl (he interprets her broken high heel as an injured hoof).  Then, another girl would poke her head out of the bushes, and Stan would say the line.  We just didn’t have enough lights to shoot the scene properly.

We did add a joke.  For some reason, a large number of shorts I’d made featured someone getting hit by a car.  I mentioned this to someone, and before you knew it, we had a new ending.

Hope you like it!


One comment

  1. […] Anyway, for some reason in the fall of 2001, I decided to take my Good Luck Alligator to college.  We thought it’d be funny to throw him into When Sorority Girls Attack. […]

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