Dr. McDreamy isn't the only Bowdoin graduate in the television and film industry. On Thursday, Allen Baldwin '99 premiered his film "Up Up Down Down" at The Nickelodeon in Portland.
"Up Up Down Down" tells the story of a young couple, Steve and Julie, whose relatively bland lives are changed the moment they learn that Julie is pregnant. The film follows the couple as they try to decide what to do about this unexpected and unwanted surprise.
When Baldwin began working on the film four years ago, the premise of a realistic couple dealing with a pregnancy was untouched. Since then, there has been a recent string of films showing different aspects of pregnancy, including "Juno," "Baby Mama" and, of course, "Knocked Up."
"I still feel we're in a unique position because we're trying to show the reality of two people that don't know what to do," said Baldwin about his film. "There are no clichés that you see in big budget films."
The film's independent status sets it apart in other ways as well. As co-writer, producer and director of the movie, Baldwin was in charge of running the set. Having such a small budget made every phase of production more difficult.
"You're not just directing-you're doing everything," said Baldwin. "I'm fascinated with directing and always have been, but being a good producer is a whole different kind of person."
A small budget also required the cast and crew to band together to make the film happen. Luckily, some close friendships already existed.
The role of Julie is played by Kristina Balbo '01, a lawyer and actress, who has been friends with Baldwin since she was in high school. After an open audition, Balbo received the part and has been working on her role for the past three years. While Balbo agreed that making an independent film had its share of difficulties, the atmosphere it created offered extra benefits as well.
"It was very exciting to see the innovation that takes place when you have limits on everything except people's creativity and talent force," said Balbo.
Luke Pola '99 also worked on "Up Up Down Down." He served as Baldwin's right-hand man and did everything from shooting to editing to design. Baldwin and Pola have been working together since they met in their first year at Bowdoin, and Baldwin credits Pola for introducing him to his current profession.
"[Pola] was planning to be a film major when he came to Bowdoin, so he was the first person I met that showed me that you can make movies for a living and get paid to do it," said Baldwin.
Other Bowdoin alumni connected to the film are Leah Fasulo '99, who has a featured role in the movie, and Matt Lajoie '05, who provided some of the music for the soundtrack.
While at Bowdoin, Baldwin realized he wanted to produce film and video for a living. The lack of a film studies major forced him to find other ways to get directing and producing experience.
He took acting and theater-directing classes. He then began to direct theater pieces, a few featuring Balbo.
During his senior year, he starting working on independent films with a Bowdoin alum and served as a production assistant. After graduation, he continued to work with the same alum and did assistant editing.
Baldwin said he wished Bowdoin had offered film production classes during his time on campus, but he wants current students interested in film to know that there are still opportunities to learn more about making movies in Maine.
"There is an independent film scene in Maine—it's small, but it's growing," said Baldwin. "If you want to make movies, there are the people and the means to do it for relatively little money."
The purpose of the premiere of "Up Up Down Down" was to gain feedback from the audience, who were asked to write down suggestions for Baldwin and his crew. After the final editing is complete, the film will most likely be shown at festivals around the country. If all goes well, "Up Up Down Down" will put Allen Baldwin, Bowdoin and Maine on the filmmaking map.