Jason’s Perspective: The Filming of Falcon’s “The Grinch”

Jason reflects on his time shooting “The Grinch”


Jason Rong

Heading up the stairs to film “The Grinch” holiday video at Green Hope

Jason Rong, Staff Writer

Last year, the Falcon released a series of holiday-themed videos, including one based on the classic novel “The Grinch.” If you haven’t watched it, click here to watch it right now! I’ll give you a cookie if you click here. Now, come with me, let’s take a trip back to the day of the filming. 

On the day of the filming, my mom drove me to the filming set. As we were getting there, I told my mom that I was nervous about meeting my classmates and filming. She responded with, “You’ll be just fine, have fun, and enjoy yourself.” After she finished her sentence, the long drive-thru of Green Hope came into view. It felt like the first day of school. As if I was going to the school to meet brand new people and teachers, which in a way, I was. I spent four months with Mr.Plants and my classmates, but today is my first time meeting them in real life. I got out of my mom’s car and walked over to the filming crew, “Are you Jason?” Mr.Plants asked with a smile, and I nodded. 

Before I went in, I had to take safety precautions. An administrator came out and asked me Covid related questions. She asked me, “Have you traveled anywhere recently?” “Do you have any Covid symptoms?” After I answered her questions, she sanitized and opened the door for me. 

As I entered the school, a warm feeling rushed through my body; it felt surprisingly good to be back. I walked to the cafeteria, recalling the tables where my friends and I used to sit, and started reminiscing about the good old days before the pandemic. I remember when my friends and I stressed over tests, talked about sports, and “enjoyed” the school meals that sweet lunch ladies served us in the cafeteria. 

“Jason, come here!” Emma, one of Falcon’s editors and the creative director of this “Grinch” video, snaps me out of my daze. “Yeah, I’m coming, Emma. I was just thinking about something, sorry.” I hurried up and joined the rest of the filming crew. We walked through the locker bays,  past deserted classrooms, and slipped by the tables on the first floor: my old studying spot

Under Emma’s direction, we shot the first scene on the stair that I used to take every morning. Then we walked past the teachers that taught me and got to the second floor. The floor that used to be loud and noisy was now quiet. I still remember that students made such a mess on the second floor that administrators had to forbid us to eat on the second floor for three months.

“One, two, three. action!” The tape starts to roll, and I begin my acting. While most of it was fake, some of the scenes were true accidents. When we were filming a scene on the second floor, the directors made me look through the window of Mr. Plants’s classroom; as I peeked through the window of his classroom and saw how empty it was inside, I felt emotional; I genuinely felt like crying. The empty classroom reminded me of the good old days, the days where my friends and I sat down in a classroom full of students and laughed about stupid stuff such as George Washington’s hair. I can’t believe that I took those days for granted. The filming crew congratulated me on my acting; they had no idea that those emotions I showed were real. 

After we finished filming, everyone was in a good mood. I looked around at the filming crew and smiled; I was proud. On my way out, I heard a familiar voice. “Jason!” Maddy, one of the senior staff members of our newspaper, waved at me. I waved back and watched her disappear toward the end of the hallway. It suddenly hit me that that moment would most likely be our first and last in-person interaction. I built a strong bond with all of my classmates despite spending the semester in virtual, but I still wish that we had more in-person interactions. I turned around and walked in the opposite direction. 

I got in the car and said goodbye to Green Hope. “Hopefully, we can meet again soon without social distancing” I thought to myself.