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Tony Wicket an American Story

Tony Wicket: An American Story is a sports comedy film centering around a prolific, former local croquet player named Tony Wicket, who after being banned from ever playing croquet again due to cheating allegations, desperately looks for a way to recapture his better years on the scene.
Set a few years after his shocking ban, Wicket is being interviewed for a biographical documentary about himself by a man he only knows as Camera Guy, who took interest in Wicket’s story after Wicket expresses that he believes he was framed. Early on into this documentary’s production, Wicket stumbles upon a budding croquet player named Smelvin. Smelvin, eager to win what was formerly the most important croquet tournament in Cape Lake Springs, the Iron Mallet Classic, implores Wicket to train him and help him realize his full potential.
Reluctant at first, Wicket realizes that this is exactly the outlet he was looking for to get back into the croquet scene. Wicket, relying on his near infinite knowledge of the sport, believes that this will be an easy endeavor for him, but when he realizes that Smelvin is near unteachable, and that his rival Figgs Bloomingshine has returned to Cape Lake Springs purely to shatter Smelvin’s dreams, he realizes that this won’t be a walk in the park, and there’s a lot more riding on this tournament than a mere trophy.

  • Alec W Tarnowski
  • Alec W Tarnowski
  • Alec W Tarnowski
  • Soren Sorensen
  • Alec W Tarnowski
    Key Cast
    "Tony Wicket"
  • Ben Correa-Goldberg
    Key Cast
  • Theodor Vlock-Drewitz
    Key Cast
    "Camera Guy"
  • Malachy Taplin
    Key Cast
    "Figgs Bloomingshine"
  • Project Type:
    Feature, Student
  • Genres:
    Sports, Comedy, Mockumentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 22 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Clark University
Director Biography - Alec W Tarnowski

Alec Tarnowski was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, and took a chance on the cold when he moved to Worcester at 18 to attend Clark University as part of its Screen Studies department. After working on several shorts through Clark, this feature stands as his directorial debut. Alec plans to return to Florida in the coming months, and will work towards his goal of becoming a writer/director for a prominent production company.

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Director Statement

When I got the privilege to conduct an honors thesis project for my senior year, I really wanted to challenge myself, and create something that has never been attempted before at the school (to my knowledge): create a feature length film. I knew what I was proposing was extremely ambitious, especially with a rigorous college schedule, but I was determined to see it through.
I've always felt that my writing is at its strongest the less serious I take myself and the premise, so naturally comedy is where I wanted to take the film. I relish in how over the top and ridiculous the writing is, and I feel that my style really shines through the characters and the world that I’ve built. Speaking of the world, I’ve always been deeply interested in worldbuilding. I wanted Cape Lake Springs, a town weirdly obsessed with and revolving around the sport of croquet, to feel lived in and believable. I really strived to try and get the audience to see how its residents are all equally as crazy but in different ways.
When it came to the style of the cinematography, I really wanted to shy away from long, sweeping, cinematic shots. The reason for this is twofold: firstly, if I can manage to shrink the frame and make it feel more claustrophobic, that oftentimes can hide how low budget this film really was. The other reason for this decision is that I feel as though reducing the film crew to just a camera bolsters the idea that Cape Lake Springs really is a small town.
There were a couple challenges with the film’s production, with the first one being scheduling. All of my actors did a great job on set, but getting them to the set was a whole different story, and I’m still baffled we were able to get this done on drastically different schedules. Sometimes the audio simply didn’t want to cooperate with us, whether that be on the day or because of the location, and that was another big issue for me that I had to overcome.
Overall, I’m deeply thankful to Clark and my actors for allowing me to accomplish one of the goals I set out for myself in my college career.