I had expected my ten year high school reunion would be sitting around a decorated banquet hall talking to friends and hearing music I hadn't heard in ten years, but I was wrong.
Several months before the reunion, I received a letter in the mail from Julie reunion coordinator. Inside was a questionnaire about what I'd been doing since high school. It asked what I did for a living, if I was married, how many kids I had and if there had been any dramatic changes in my life or if I had any news about what any of my class mates had been up to. The instructions said to complete it and send it back with a month in the stamped envelope provided.
No one knew what purpose the information was put to until the day of the reunion. A block of rooms was reserved at the same hotel for out of town alumi like myself. The reunion was being held in a banquet hall of the same hotel. About fifteen minutes before the reunion was supposed to start, several young people in their early twenties, wearing jeans, T-shirts and "Crew" baseball caps, knocked on our doors and announced, "You're needed on set in fifteen minutes." They waited until we came out of our rooms and escorted everyone down to the banquet hall. On the way, they handed us booklets that looked like scripts. "Carlton High School's Tenth reunion" was printed on the cover.
Everyone was very suprised to find the banquet hall had been turned into a movie production! There were cameras and lights, backdrops, facades and props and movie people running around. A Production Coordinator directed Production Assistants as to who needed costumes and which scenes would be filmed first. A makeup artist applied make-up before every five minute scene was shot. The Director wandered around, talking to us just before it was our turn in front of the camera. It was incredible!
I took lots photos, but everyone also would get a video of the movie entire evening later. Each of us had our turn being a film star! When we weren't on camera, we could watch others being filmed. It was so interesting to see everything that went on behind the camera.
We found out the questionnaires had been turned over to a couple of writers who picked out one thing for every alumni and wrote it into a five minute scene. Some were scenes related to their job. Like the fifteen minute police drama for Pamela, Greg and Andrew who all worked for law enforcement in their cities or the ten minute documentary on the search for extraterrestrials starring Nancy and Curt who both work for the FBI. Not all of it could be considered perfoming because it came out of our lives. Though some of the scenes took a while especially when a person got the giggles or forgot their lines or messed them up.
One scene involved the entire class. We watched a slide show of pictures taken at the senior prom and graduation. We didn't know it at the time, but the director had the cameras rolling while we pointed, laughed and remenisced about our high school
The food was served buffet style, but I heard it was much better than the usual food served by craft services. There was barbecued ribs, chicken, baked potatoes, mixed vegetables and caeser and fruit salad. There were plenty of sodas, fruit juices and even wine to drink.
Several weeks later, I received a video tape of the "movie" and found out there was a story tying all of the scenes together. I noticed there was some candid footage added in. The end product was very professional and an excellent way to remember the reunion. The credits listed all of the alumni who attended as well as their contact information so everyone could stay in touch. My favorite part of the tape was the out takes. I thought the movie was the perfect way to make a milestone event even more memorable! I wrote a letter thanking Julie and the rest of the planning committee for all the hard work that must have gone into making the reunion the time of our lives.