In the spirit of such classics as “Swingers” and “Superbad” comes “Swooped,” a “bro-mantic” comedy from Temple University student filmmakers ShaunPaul Costello and Joe Gariffo.”Swooped” is the story of what happens when two friends chasing after the girls of their dreams wind up sleeping with each other’s girl.
The events are told via flashback, by the two main characters Jack (Gariffo) and Stan (Costello). Each character puts their own spin on the events that transpired. They each try to make themselves appear innocent, while attempting to expose the other as a backstabber.
The film’s title comes from a term that Costello and Gariffo coined, meaning to take something, or in this case someone, away from someone else.
“Swooped” is set to begin filming on Dec. 20 to coincide with Temple’s winter break and wrap on Jan. 20 with time off in the middle.
Roughly two-thirds of the film will be shot in Philadelphia, while the remaining scenes will be filmed in Orlando, Fla. for authenticity because, as Gariffo pointed out, “there is no way you can fake Orlando in Philadelphia in the winter.”
The film is inspired by true events and parts of the first draft were written in the backseat of a Honda Civic as the two made their way back from Orlando to Philadelphia, hence the location of some of the film’s key scenes.
The second draft was written in Gariffo’s basement during the Philadelphia Phillies successful bid for the World Series.
The two refused to shower until the draft was finished, a tactic Costello credited as “motivation.”
Costello described “Swooped” as an “off-the-wall comedy,” however the film does have a serious side as well.
Costello and Gariffo anticipate their film will receive an R-rating due to an abundance of foul language. This rating used to be something that studios went out of their way to avoid getting, though this is no longer the case, thanks to the success of filmmakers such as Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith.
“[The language] is not gratuitous, and there’s no nudity,” said Costello.
He added that the language and adult situations contained in the film are only there to support the comedy.
Costello and Gariffo expect to have a total budget of around $20,000, which they raised themselves. Investments came from mostly friends and family members based solely on the strength of the script. They managed to raise $10,000 in a month.
“People believed in us before we really did,” said Gariffo.
The cast is comprised of mostly their friends, in addition to Costello and Gariffo themselves.
“They have been 110 percent amazing,” said Costello of the rest of the cast, which includes a friend who dropped out of the Irene Ryan Foundation acting competition in order to participate in the film after reading the script.
“Swooped” is the first feature film that Costello and Gariffo have worked on together, though they have done 10 short films over the course of the past year, both in front of, and behind the camera.Costello has three short films currently in various local film competitions in addition to his short film “Ruined,” which will be available on Amazon.com and features the music of a Grammy Award winning composer.
Early reviews of the film’s script have been overwhelmingly positive, a fact that could lead to “Swooped” receiving a theatrical release, in addition to its planned DVD release on Amazon.com.
Costello and Gariffo have high hopes for “Swooped” besides the potential theatrical release. Once it is completed they will seek to send it to multiple film festivals, with their sights set as high as the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which is held every year in France and features some of the biggest and best films from around the world.
Despite all of this, both Costello and Gariffo remain grounded and self-deprecating, calling themselves “two of the laziest people in the world” regardless of all of the hard work and effort that they have already put into the film.
“All my time is going to this,” said Gariffo, who plans not to return to Temple for the spring semester, which would be his last, in order to finish work on the film.
The two have decided not to give themselves a “filmed by” credit on the film; instead they have chosen to dedicate that space to those who have helped them get their project off the ground.
“You can’t have an ego, and you can’t do it by yourself,” said Costello, who graduates at the end of this term.
Costello and Gariffo expect big things from their little film, and their enthusiasm is contagious, and with the market for R-rated comedies at an all-time high, fame and fortune might not be that far off for these up-and-coming filmmakers.
Colin McGlinchey is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.