William Peters '06

Which dorm(s) did you live in?
Lawson and Rooke.

Any favorite memories of Colby-Sawyer?
More than I can write. I have some very fond memories of the late nights in the radio station, the Courier, and the Sawyer Center events.

How do you think your classmates remember you?
That's a tough one. To think that they remember me at all would be cool. But I used to buy sweaters from the church down the road, and I accumulated something like 30 sweaters, all of which were hideous and dizzying to look at. So maybe as "the guy who wore the ugly sweaters?"

Which staff or faculty member inspired you most?
I had the most fun creatively in David Elliot's Playwriting class and also watching films in Pat Anderson's various film studies. The video classes sparked my interest in production and basically guided me into what I do now professionally.

What's your day job?
I'm in charge of video production at a media agency outside of Burlington, Vermont.

You recently wrote and directed a short film, "Motel." What's it about?
"Motel" follows two late night travelers who attempt to bargain hunt for a motel. Their plans and attitudes change radically when they begin meeting each motel clerk. One part "Twilight Zone" and one part dark comedy. That sounds more like a mixed drink than a pitch, I'm sorry.

What inspired the film?
It was actually inspired by true events which happened to another CSC alumnus, Asher Ellis '06. He told me about a motel he stopped at in the deep south and the bizarre clerks who looked eerily similar. It sparked a story idea that we developed and I wrote a screenplay for.

How has "Motel" been received?
The response has been very positive. We've been screening at some great film festivals around the country and audiences seem to really enjoy it. I was initially expecting MOTEL to be more or less a practice film; one that would be a personal test run for us as a group, and for me as a director. Fortunately for me, the actors were phenomenal and made me look like I knew what I was doing.

The film stars Michael Mooney '02 and Ben Watts '03. How was it working with other Colby-Sawyer alumni? Is Mike Mooney a Charlie Sheen in the making?
It's a lot of fun working with friends, especially when they're so talented. As for Mike, all I have to say is that I've been to his New Year's party, and it's a wild ride. My head was spinning from all the baclava. Mike is also more talented and a much better actor than Charlie.

Any distribution plans for Motel?
It's very difficult to distribute and market short films. There are festivals that show nothing but shorts, which are fun, but rarely does a short become something you can sell. For us, making these shorts is an opportunity to practice the craft and build up our network of talented people who are serious about making films. It took me a few years to get the know-how and confidence to make "Motel." The process will only get faster and more refined until we decide it's time we're ready for a feature.

What's your next project?
We have a few in the works. First is an adaptation of a short story by Asher Ellis, which will start principal photography at the end of March. Should be a fun one!

Any plans to move to Hollywood?
No. Temperate climates really bum me out.

Any filmmakers that inspire you?
There's so many, but one that comes to mind is Werner Herzog. You're never quite sure what kind of film he's going to make. He's never stuck in a genre, which I really respect. He could wake up in the morning, point to a location on the globe and say, "Let's pack it up and go film a documentary there."

Any secrets from your college days that can finally be revealed?
The "ghost" of the man in the hat who sits on the steps of Colgate? Me. Oh, and the phantom basketball dribbling in Austin? Me again.

Any advice for today's students who hope to break into the film world?
That's a tough question because there's so much to say. I've known a lot of people who have had lofty goals when they first start out. They start immediately with a feature length, and guess what? They never finish it. Do yourself a favor and start small. Shoot something simple, and if it's not very good, that's fine, you know what you have to do to correct it for the next one.

Join director William Peters '06 and cast for a screening of MOTEL at Colby-Sawyer. The screening, which is free to the general public, takes place at the new Windy Hill School on Wednesday, March 16, at 8 p.m. Find out more on Facebook.

To watch "Motel" online, visit www.motelshort.com.

Know an alumna/us who should be here? Let us know!

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