new film will float your boat
AARON ROSEN - SENIOR EDITOR
The fact that Tug Buse will be working next year as a deckhand
for a tugboat company in Puget Sound immediately marks him in my mind
as one of Bowdoin's most intriguing characters. But, as I discovered in
my preparation for this article, Bowdoin's preeminent Civil War aficianado
is also one of Bowdoin's most artistic individuals. This Friday and Saturday,
at 6:00 p.m. in Smith Auditorium in Sills Hall, Tug will present "Fox
Movietone News Unreleased Reel #644," his first venture in 16mm film.
Although it runs for only ten minutes, the film is the product
of extended amounts of time and money. The process of shooting in 16mm
is demanding, although Tug maintains that the clarity and warmth of the
final product more than redeems the amount of effort the medium requires.
Moreover, the restrictions imposed by film-it had to be less than ten
minutes, silent, and black and white due to budgeting concerns-actually
generated the idea for "Unreleased Reel."
Those who were on campus last year might recall Tug's feature length
video, "Picked Off." In Tug's current project, he returns to the subject
of World War II, again setting his piece in northern Europe. "Unreleased
Reel" mimics the flickering, silent black and white films of the period,
and it is meant to convey the amateur efforts of two downed American soldiers
who find a camera and record messages for their loved ones.
Tug filmed the piece on his family's land in Washington state,
where he notes that the coniferous forests approximates a Belgian landscape
more accurately than the deciduous and coniferous mix of southern Maine.
Filming near home also allowed Tug to cast his high school amis, and even
his young cousin Kyle. Fans of "Picked Off" might recognize Tom Lapham
and Daniel Schwager, who will likely star in Tug's next film, a rafting
adventure story Tug will begin work on this summer.
In addition to "Unreleased Reel," fans of Tug's work can also anticipate
the spring screening of his documentary on the period of Reconstruction.
Undertaken as the chief component of his honors project, this combination
of academic and artistic material is typical of Tug's desire to integrate
his historical interests with his aspirations to at least a part-time
career as an independent filmmaker.
While endeavoring to make a career in film might seem a bleak prospect
for some, Tug is both a realist and an optimist. He states earnestly that
"making the film is a success" and fully understands that his passion
is very unlikely to make him rich, and will more likely prove a monetary
And yet, despite such assurances that he will cope well with the
bohemian existence of the independent filmmaker, Tug's prospects look
bright. He has already lined up two "gigs," as he calls them, for next
summer. He will shoot promotional videos for Roche Harbor Resort on San
Juan Island in the Puget Sound and a Russian lumber company currently
doing work in Washington state. With this money, added to wages garnered
as a tugboat deckhand, Tug should have enough money not only to subsist,
but to support the artistic talents he so amply demonstrates in "Unreleased
Michael Buse (a.k.a.
"Tug") comtemplating his latest film. (Sherri Kies/The Bowdoin Orient.)