Bloomington, the movie

fun facts

Some fun facts about the making of “BLOOMINGTON”

  • “Bloomington” was entirely shot in Indiana in Carmel, Indianapolis and Columbus. But no, not in the actual Bloomington.
  • “Bloomington” has basically the same key crew members as the sci-fi short “Enigma” which was directed by producer Jason Shumway.
  • The script started as a 30-page narrative description of one of the scenes written in late 2004, with the actual screenplay version being written in early 2006. It went through several different drafts along the way.
  • Almost every member of the crew made an on-screen appearance. Some of them can actually be spotted in more than one scene.
  • The entire movie was shot over 20 days in April of 2009, plus one half day for b-roll. The shooting script was 102 pages long.
  • The shooting schedule averaged 5 or 6 pages a day. One day was actually a 9-page day (all 3 study group scenes), which included some fight choreography courtesy of master Shumway.
  • The crew “made” every shoot day (except for only one) and no scenes had to be cut, even under such a tight schedule. Also, no day was longer than 12 hours, with some being actually much shorter than that. Go Team!!
  • Some shooting days had special attire requirements for the crew such as “blue shirt day” or “sports team day”.
  • The fictional “college campus” where the movie takes place is actually a combination of 5 different locations, only one of them being a real college campus.
  • The location used as “Catherine’s House” had nearly every toilet broken by the crew by the time they were finished shooting there. And that place has A LOT of toilets.
  • The “soundstage” where the audition takes place is actually the back of the shop of a manufacturing company. But it looks just like a soundstage, doesn’t it?
  • As a matter of fact, one of the classrooms (the one where the math and literature classes take place) is an instructional room in said company. Again, looks just like a real college, doesn’t it?
  • George Feucht, the DP is a “master-level” chef (is that what it’s called?) and threw a homemade pizza party for the cast and crew in mid-shoot. Needless to say it was the best meal they had the entire month.
  • There is a grand total of 4 Shumways on-screen: the producer Jason, his mom Karen, his dad Gary and their dog Maggie. Karen had a line and Gary didn’t. Gary wasn’t happy about that.
  • Four-legged star Maggie Shumway (who played “Ethan”) turned out to be a very well-behaved and versatile actress, able to play another gender with no difficulty.
  • Gary Shumway took the entire crew out on a boat one afternoon and some crew members got to try wakeboarding with various degrees of success. Oh, and co-producer Beck slashed her fingers.
  • The production crew comprised of 24 people total, hailing from all over the country: LA, New Jersey, Kansas, Indiana and Ohio among others.
  • Only Allison McAtee, Sarah Stouffer and Katherine Ann McGregor are LA based actors. All others are Indiana based.
  • One scene had to be re-written just a couple of days prior to shooting: the flying lesson scene, since it was written as a flight simulator scene in the original script. It turns out it’s damn near impossible to secure a good-looking flight simulator for a low budget movie!
  • By the way, that’s Jason (a licensed pilot) flying the plane in that scene! Allison and Sarah are very good students but unfortunately not yet qualified to fly on their own. Maybe by the time we shoot the sequel, who knows…
  • Sarah hated the backpack that Jackie carried around campus. Fernanda loved it and kept it after the shoot. Fernanda obviously has no taste.
  • Allison would actually read the prop-books when the scenes required Catherine to read and would recite what she learned back to the crew, which prompted art-director Misti Bolland to get creative with her picks (“Boy Scout Safety Manual”, anyone?).
  • 1st AD Derek Tow was also an assistant director on “Monster” and would whistle that Journey song a lot!
  • The crew’s game of choice was Taboo. They played it so much that most people had the words memorized by the time the wrap party happened. There was also a little bit of Scrabble and lots and lots of Nintendo DS.
  • Go-Karting was another popular past time for the crew. They made several trips to the local track. Wade’s birthday card to Jackie alludes to that.
  • The shoot itself was damn near completely smooth and trouble-free. The worst horror story would have to be the first choice of hotel accommodation in Columbus (the rooms had cobwebs and smelled, among other things) but it was all fixed by Super Beck, our co-producer, in a matter of 10 minutes. And everyone lived happily ever after.
  • Yes, it rains a lot in Indiana. A handful of days had to be shifted around to accommodate the weather and one scene had to be re-written on the fly to take place indoors instead of out.
  • “Bloomington” was shot at the same time as another Indiana-based indie called “Amanda”, which happens to be a romantic comedy about a transsexual.
  • The wrap party was a very nice barbeque thrown by the Shumway family at their lake house which had also served as the “Thanksgiving Dinner” scene location.
  • The producer, the writer/director, the editor, the DP and the sound editor all attended USC Film School together graduating around the year 2000 and have been friends ever since. As a matter of fact, Fernanda was one of the editors on Jason’s thesis film.
  • There were lots of very funny bloopers carefully planned and executed throughout the shoot. Make sure to buy the DVD and you’ll see what we’re talking about!