VIDEO: 5 Questions with American High Studios
(Writer: Marissa Gilliard)
This past weekend, we got the opportunity to visit American High Studios in Liverpool, NY. You may have heard about them from their film Big Time Adolescence that stared Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live and Machine Gun Kelly. The movie went on to the Sundance Film Festival where it got a lot of praise from critics. We spoke with American High producer, Michael Schade about the inspiration behind American High’s movie themes and why American High makes home in the Syracuse, NY.
Syracuse, New York may seem like an unlikely place for a production studio. It’s all however, a part of the vision of screen writer Jeremy Garelick, a New York native who’s writing credits include hits like The Break Up and The Hangover. Garelick wanted to create this generations high school films. He had been looking for a bit for an old school house to buy, to turn into a studio. One day, while in a production meeting he heard about a tax incentive from New York State that was to get more movies shot outside of New York City. He immediately left the meeting and looked up schools for sale, and the rest is basically history. Founded in 2017, American High’s mission is to create at least five films per year all while operating out of an old school house.
American High also works closely with Le Moyne college and Syracuse University film students and you can even take film classes there as well. “We want to give first time writers and directors their chance” says producer Michael Schade. American High also is working closely with The Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Canada, where you can go and pitch your comedy film ideas to them. So keep an eye out for that! But the real question is, why coming of age high school films? “Because it’s something everyone has gone through” says Schade. “When your young, everything feels like the end of the world, and everyone has been through that we want to tell those stories.” If the Sundance Film Festival proved anything, American High is a production company to watch.