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Published: Thursday, 8/11/2011

UT students get taste of reel world

BLADE STAFF
Shane Monaco was an extra in the horror comedy 'Fun Size' that was shot in Cleveland. Shane Monaco was an extra in the horror comedy 'Fun Size' that was shot in Cleveland.
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When the movie Fun Size comes out in the fall of 2012, University of Toledo film students will be able to say that a couple of their brethren played roles -- however small and behind-the-scenes -- in the horror comedy.

Shane Monaco, a magna cum laude graduate this spring from UT's film school, and Nate Elias, a senior who majors in film, traveled to Cleveland this summer to be involved in the movie's production. Elias was a stand-in who took the place of actors while a scene was being set up and Monaco served as an extra.

The director for the movie about a teenaged girl who loses her younger brother after being forced to take him trick or treating is Josh Schwartz and the lead actor is Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice.

In a news release from UT, Monaco, a Brunswick, Ohio, native who lives in Toledo, described his "role" in Fun Size.

He said that Elias was already serving as a stand-in -- the job entails standing where the actors will be so production staff can frame shots, take light measurements, and handle other technical details -- and he told Monaco that extra roles were being filled for the filming in Cleveland.

Monaco said that when he arrived he wasn't even sure he was on a film set.

"I saw something that I mistook for a new fast food restaurant called 'Captain Chicken.' After a second I realized that what I was looking at was actually the set. The crew had turned an abandoned Popeye's Chicken into this bizarre pirate-themed restaurant," he said in the release.

The extras wore their own Halloween costumes; his outfit included dreadlocks, a hat, and an island shirt, and the scene involved reacting to a giant chicken statue being dropped on an old car. Monaco also was used to drive cars in the background of certain scenes.

He said in the news release that watching the filming process confirmed his choice for a career.

"What really fascinated me about the whole thing was how the production operated like a tiny confined city -- multiple buildings, multiple jobs, transportation and communication between all, and at the hub was the set, around which it all revolved. It was an amazing experience, seeing what we did as students done on a grand scale, efficiently, and taken very seriously by everyone involved," he said.



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