BWW Feature: THE DREAM TEAM Concludes With SERIES FINALE
Cast of The Dream Team: Season 2
(Photo credit: Lauren Khalfayan)
Shenandoah Conservatory's popular web series The Dream Team concluded its story with a riveting series finale last week. The Dream Team is an original series created by two Shenandoah University students in October of 2015, it currently has garnered 12 thousand views on YouTube, over 180 subscribers, and upwards of 340 FaceBook likes. Each episode centered around a freshman theatre class living out their first year of college at the fictional Betsey Bell Conservatory.
When having auditions for the most recent and final season, co-creator Emma Benson and the rest of the cast were floored at the turnout. "We must have seen twenty-five girls in the audition for one of the parts, which was such an honor." She says. "It derived from the fact of 'I can't believe we get to do this and with this group of people."
Cinematographer Stephen Dransfield with Drew Becker (Luke Taylor) and Kyle Mangold (CJ Luck)
"Joining The Dream Team halfway through was difficult, because if following in Morgan [McDowell]'s footsteps as the director of photography wasn't tough enough, I had to respect Morgan and Emma's original vision of the show." Says Stephen Dransfield, Season 2's cinematographer. "But now that it's completed, looking back on all those times makes me realize how much I've grown as a filmmaker and storyteller. Working with smart directors only helped me out along the way."
Also new to the second season was freshman Shaila Murdock (Lana Vancamp), who expressed her gratitude "The Dream Team was truly one of the highlights of my freshman year at Shenandoah. I can be shy when I first meet new people, so I never thought they would choose me over the students that verbalized how much they loved the show. Emma devoted so much time, love, and creativity to this show - each time she sent us the script for the latest episode I would be laughing out loud. This opportunity has given me many funny memories and new friendships as well. We really had the best team."
The series also featured current and former Shenandoah faculty cameos such as Jonathan Flom, Charles Goforth, and Kirsten Trump (voice only).
Freya Falkenstein (Nora Michaels) and Emma Norville (Helen MacBozman)
(Photo credit: Lauren Khalfayan)
Freya Falkenstein (Nora Michaels) said "Working on The Dream Team was one of my favorite parts of college; being able to bring one of my best friends' characters and stories to life was awesome. It was so much fun being able to work with friends and goof around all the while creating something that people liked watching and were invested in."
Zachary Bigelow (Sam Stein) claimed his favorite part of the process was shooting the scene where Luke and Sam's relationship finally blossomed. "It was a long awaited victory because I knew Luke had to initiate it." He said while grinning maliciously.
"Emma Benson can really do anything," says Emma Norville (Helen MacBozman). "I have no doubt in my mind that she will succeed in whatever she chooses to do. She is a natural leader and a comedy genius, and working with her in close conjunction is something I'll miss dearly."
In total, The Dream Team is four hours and twenty-five minutes of content, consisting of two seasons and eleven episodes. Not including the blooper reel and promotional videos at the beginning of Season One.
Sierra Farris (Emma Benson) and Garrett Johnson (Taylor Bloom) experiencing a cathartic moment.
Taylor Bloom's (Garrett Johnson) best memories were when he and Freya Falkenstein (Nora Michaels) would burst out laughing at something they improved during a take. "Emma would write us these lovely scenes and then just let us do what we wanted with them. She trusted us to find the connection between our two characters and it was both beautiful and enriching."
Being co-creator, writer, director, and editor, Emma Benson claims her favorite part was crafting the story "I love writing it, that's one of my favorite parts, it's my baby. I get to speak the voices of these characters. And I'm so proud of my cast because when I give them these lines my motto is 'Don't say what's on the paper, take this as a skeleton, put it in your own words.'"
The Dream Team premiered on November 15th, 2015 and aired its final episode on May 9th, 2017. Starring Drew Becker (Luke Taylor), Emma Benson (Sierra Farris), Zachary Bigelow (Sam Stein), Taylor Bloom (Garrett Johnson), Freya Falkenstein (Nora Michaels), Kyle Mangold (CJ Luck), Shaila Murdock (Lana Vancamp), Emma Norville (Helen MacBozman), and Will Westray (Chad Baker) Written and Directed by Emma Benson. Direction and Cinematography by Stephen Dransfield. Co-created by Emma Benson and Morgan McDowell.