You can now view the entire SYNC movie online for FREE. Click on the link below to view the film on any internet device.
By Katie Moen New Jersey Herald
FRANKFORD — Typically, it’s fair to say that most high school projects do not involve choreographed fight scenes, a 25-foot freefall from the side of a cliff or a mid-March plunge into the icy waters of a Pennsylvania river. It would also probably be fair to say, then, that Craig Thiessen, recent graduate of Sussex County Technical School, was not a typical high school student.
In January 2016, Thiessen began production on his senior thesis project, a 45-minute long action/adventure film called “Sync.” The film, which will debut on Saturday, May 13, follows a desperate ex-Marine named Ryan on his quest to evade the organization that abducted him and implanted an artificial intelligence chip into his brain.
“It was pretty ambitious for my first attempt,” admitted Thiessen, who said that the project took about three months to complete. “I mean, yes, it was a school assignment, but I wanted to put everything I had into it.”
Thiessen, now 20, said that he wanted to “push his own limits and see what (he) could do.” Now, as he prepares to premier the film, Thiessen said that all of the long nights, brainstorming sessions, and hard work have really paid off.
“We begged, borrowed, cashed in favors, and just plain made stuff happen with very little,” said Thiessen, who relied on assistance from family members and friends to help him complete the project.
“Sync” stars Thiessen’s brother, Andrew, who also helped to come up with the idea for the plot.
“We didn’t have a lot of time to get it together, so we tried to come up with a script that sounded as professional as possible,” said Thiessen. “We definitely ran into some roadblocks, but I’m really proud of the final product.”
A native of Sussex County, Thiessen said that many of the locations in “Sync” should be pretty familiar to local audiences.
“We shot at Sunrise Mountain, Stokes State Forest, and in a bunch of local streets and backyards,” he said. “I’m lucky that I live where I do, because the scenery around here lent itself very naturally to the story we were trying to tell.”
In mid-March of last year, Thiessen said, he and his crew made the trip out to Peace Rock in Pennsylvania to film one of “Sync’s” biggest action scenes: a 25-foot freefall from a graffiti-covered cliff face, straight down into the rolling waters of the river below.
“It was about 35 degrees out, and it was so windy,” Thiessen said. “My brother had to run and jump off of this huge cliff, and I honestly can’t imagine how cold that water must have been. I never would have been able to make this work without Andrew. He had the same ‘let’s go for it’ attitude that I did, and even though it was a pretty miserable day of shooting for everyone, we were all so happy with the way that scene turned out.”
Executive producer and Thiessen’s uncle Steve Okrepky said that when Thiessen first approached him with the idea for the project, he had to take a deep breath.
“I have been in the film and TV industry for a long time,” Okrepky said, “so I know what it takes to put something of this scope together. Craig and the other students that he worked with were so dedicated to what they were doing that I wanted to do whatever I could to help them. I knew that they would be willing to put in the time, but I honestly didn’t know that they would take this thing to the level that they did. It’s not the typical film that a high school kid would do. I think this is an incredible project for someone at his level, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.”
“Sync” was entered into the New York Film and TV festival in 2016.
“It didn’t end up being accepted,” said Okrepky, “but that was only because they were looking for comedies and documentaries. It wasn’t the right fit, but I know there are plans to enter the film into some more festivals and competitions in the future. For now, we just want to give it a successful premier, and see where it goes from there.”
Today, Thiessen is taking courses through the Recording, Radio, Film and Culinary program in New York, where he is eager to get to work on his next project.
“I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker,” he said, “but honestly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that Sussex Tech gave me the chance to work on something like this, I don’t think I would have seriously considered it as a career. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
“Sync” will have its premier screening at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Community Center at Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended. Tickets can reserved by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sync-movie-premiere-tickets-33632826690. To see the full trailer for “Sync,” visit www.syncthemovie.com. The premier event will also feature a question and answer session with the cast and crew.
Original 5/11/17 NJ Herald Article – http://www.njherald.com/20170511/local-student-to-premier-debut-film-project#
PDF of NJ Herald Article – http://www.syncthemovie.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/5-11-17_NJHerald.pdf
The SYNC film premiere will be on May 13, 2017 at the Cedar Crest Community Center, 1 Cedar Crest Drive, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444. There are 2 screenings at the same theater on the same day at 6PM and at 7:30PM. Tickets are FREE, but there is limited seating. Be sure to reserve your seats for you and your friends before they run out. Click on the the link below to reserve your tickets now.
SYNC the movie has just released the new movie poster for the film. The poster was completed shortly after the final Director’s Cut of the film was completed.
“We wanted to have our official movie poster completed before we started marketing for the film’s premiere.” Crag Thiessen, the film’s Director said.
“We also added the film poster to our new IMDB listing as well.”
The movie SYNC is now listed on IMDB with the new movie poster.
You can see the new IMDB listing for SYNC at this link: SYNC On IMDB.
Late in the evening on June 30, 2016, the movie SYNC was entered into the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) just before the deadline.
“We worked non-stop on the movie in Post Production coming straight out of Production in mid-June” Craig Thiessen, Director of SYNC said.
“Post Production for the movie was only 2 weeks which didn’t leave us much time to do all the editing, sound design, visual FX work, color correction and grading and other finishing work. We had all hands on deck to help and everyone really pitched in to help–especially Dennis Ullund, Jr. and Derek VanAlthuis. We were really crunched for time, but we finished the best we could by the festival deadline.”
“Now we can take some time off while we wait to see if the film is accepted into the festival. The odds are really against us since festival entries are more than double what they were last year. Plus, our production budget was essentially no budget and we are going up against established professional studios in the NYC area. This project was initially done as my high school thesis project, so the addition of entering it into the festival is a bonus.”
We are pleased to announce that principal photography for SYNC is now complete. Now we roll right into Post Production editing, sound design, color correction and grading, and VHX work.
“There’s no rest for the weary” Craig Thiessen, Director of SYNC said.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us in Post Production and not a lot of time to complete it in if we are going to make the NYTVF submission deadline. I also have to hand in the final film to my teacher for my high school thesis project. I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by submitting the film for both.”
The production team works on the only scene shot in Pennsylvania. The rest of production was all completed in Sussex County, New Jersey.
“The cliff dive scene is one of the more dangerous scenes we had to shoot. We had to find a spot where it was not only safe, but where it was permitted to do so” said Craig Thiessen, Director of SYNC.
“Everything went well and we were able to shoot the lead up and following scenes in the water as well. We are about two thirds of the way through production and still have the remaining scenes to complete back in New Jersey. We are looking forward to completing the rest of production and getting the last scenes in the can.”