“Mount Griffin” trailer brings comical angle to arduous five-story hike
A quartet of University of Louisiana at Lafayette students transformed their arduous commutes up one of the university’s largest buildings into a comical movie trailer complete with dramatic flair.
Standing at five stories tall, Griffin Hall, lovingly known as “Mount Griffin,” leaves students out of breath on their arrival to its upper floors, which house the history and modern language departments. Students Ashaun Cotton, Kiana Washington, McKinley Fisher-Lynd and Lillian Lestelle created the movie preview and released the video within the last few months. Since its release, the video has amassed almost 17,000 views on YouTube and has been shared across social media platforms.
“I knew it was going to be posted, but I didn’t expect people to actually read it,” said Washington, a senior theater major and one of the stars of the short previews. “The first time I saw it, it was already at 7,000 views.”
The project was written by Chris Jones, the multimedia specialist for the Web Ambassadors Network of UL Lafayette. Washington said she was told about the project some time ago, and Jones recently brought it back up. She said at first she had no idea where it had come from, but she thought the idea was hilarious. Fisher-Lynd, a senior moving image arts major, is an intern for Jones, and said Jones was inspired by the preview for the movie “Everest.”
Hoping to get more students and other off-campus viewers to watch more unique UL Lafayette videos, Fisher-Lynd said Jones wanted this project to be something different. He said he designed the video to serve as more than “the standard informational video.”
The project took almost a week and a half to put together, according to Fisher-Lynd. He said the group had many helpers who put in their part. Cotton, one of the actors, even wrote the score for the song that plays throughout the preview.
“It felt like it took no time,” said Washington.
Fisher-Lynd said his favorite part of putting the film together was likely the scene on the staircase when they’re all in winter clothes. He said Cotton made him lose himself laughing over his choice of outfit. From a giant selection of clothing, Cotton chose a pair of goggles, to Fisher-Lynd’s delight
“Those are actually like chemistry goggles that my teacher gave me in high school,” he said.
Although a large portion of the project was to make a joke about the endless staircase, filming on it was something of an adventure said Fisher-Lynd and Washington. Both students and faculty saw them working and often nervously tried to back away.
“Especially the scene where it’s like ‘cold’ and we’re all in coats,” Washington said with a laugh, “I can’t imagine what they thought.
“We had actually one of the janitors walked in and she was like, ‘What’re you doing? You have to let us know when you’re doing this. You’re interrupting classes!’”
In relation to the future of this “Mount Griffin” preview, both Fisher-Lynd and Washington said they are unsure.
“There were a lot of people saying if we made this a movie, that they would watch it,” Washington said. “Even my little brother was like ‘This would be a cool movie!’”
Fisher-Lynd said the team had considered a follow-up trailer of some sort. Although not likely as the next UL Lafayette video, it is a possibility for the future.
“We’d have to make sure it were good,” he said, “not just put something out there. It’s on the table, I guess.”