FACETIME- Perreault's pirouette: Engineering grad spins off into film
While he was a student at UVA, Andrew Perreault never took a film class, and he didn't even attend a single annual Virginia Film Festival. So no one saw it coming when the 2005 civil engineering graduate announced four years later he would return to his alma mater to screen the feature film he produced.
"It really started with my brother," explains Perreault, 26. "About two years ago, he approached me with some ideas for a script."
Bureaucracy is a brother movie– not thematically, but in its creation, as Perreault's older brother, Mark, is the writer and director who lives in Los Angeles. Andrew put his project management skills together to produce the under-$1 million thriller.
"I always had the desire, the entrepreneurial spirit, to start my own company," says the younger Perreault. "He's the creative side; I'm the business side."
Bureaucracy– tagline: "9 to 5 is a killer"– forces a loyal employee who lives in a trailer park with his blind sister to plot to kill his corrupt boss to save the siblings from economic devastation. Talk about timely.
The movie has appeared at seven film festivals, even picking up a couple of awards. And while still looking for a distributor, Perreault's Proactive Pictures has two more movies in the works.
Meanwhile, the count of UVA grads involved has grown to four: Brian Kirby went to high school with the Norfolk-native Perreault; Matt Webber was Perreault's second-year roommate, and Jay Hoover ('81) was instrumental in arranging the UVA screening, which is sponsored, in part, by the Virginia Film Festival.
"I'm trying to be very supportive of Virginia filmmakers and UVA grads who've made movies," says festival director Jody Kielbasa. "That's a very important part of our mission."
The September 25 screening has further brother connections: Another sponsor is Perreault's fraternity, Delta Upsilon.
After graduation from the School of Engineering, Perreault migrated to Washington to work on the U.S. Capitol project. While here, he learned how to calculate loads and other essential engineering ciphers. But the skills that translate beyond engineering are the people skills. ""That's what helped me as a producer," says Perreault, "bringing people together for the project."
While Perreault intends for now to hold on to his day job– working at the U.S. Patent Office– he's heartened by early feedback for Bureaucracy. "Most people," he says, "are impressed by the resources we put into it and what we're able to do without a big Hollywood budget."
"Bureaucracy" screens 8pm Friday, September 25 at UVA's Wilson Hall (next door to New Cabell on Jefferson Park Avenue). Free.