The College of New Rochelle is playing a big role in an independent, feature-length drama about a prep school student who discovers an online community that encourages eating disorders and begins starving herself.
"Little Miss Perfect," produced by Face Your Beast LLC, has been shooting on campus since August 13, with a crew made up mostly of New York University students and recent graduates. Filming is expected to continue through August 25, and over half of the movie will feature scenes shot on campus. Locations have included Mooney Center, Angela and Maura Hall, Chidwick, Rogick, Science, and the Castle.
"We feel very lucky and grateful to be shooting here," said Alec Isaacs, a producer on the film who led location scouting. Isaacs said they had been looking at prep schools throughout Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. "Where can I find a campus as beautiful as explained in the script?" he said.
Producers then turned their eye toward colleges, and liked The College of New Rochelle's "French Gothic" look," said Isaacs, who described the film as a loose, modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. "It was similar to what we were looking for, and we fell in love."
Director Marlee Roberts says the crew, about 15 to 20 strong on any given 12-hour shooting day, were excited to discover a secret passageway in the Castle. Another surprise was Maura's ballroom, which was much bigger than they expected. "It was a welcome challenge to fill out," Isaacs said.
Fortunately for the crew, the weather has been accommodating. The college community has been generous as well, Roberts said. "Everyone has been so incredibly welcoming," she said. "It truly makes a difference when you have a lot of good energy." Members of the community, recruited through Facebook, Craigslist, and flyers, have also taken part as background talent.
Roberts said post-production is slated through the fall and into winter, and they expect to make the festival circuit rounds in 2014, culminating in a New York premier.
(Photo: A crew films "Little Miss Perfect" at Science Hall.)