March 15, 2013

I'm like a dead tree...

It's been a weird week around PHS, the week when we give the state-mandated Ohio Graduation Tests to our sophomores (and any juniors and seniors who still need to pass). That means I've spent the first two-and-a-half hours of each day in my classroom watching students silently test - or sigh - or put their heads down. It's helpful (because I can get some work done), frustrating (I'm not free to come and go, and I have to be nearly silent), boring (really, two and a half hours of near silence), and tense (the tests are high-stakes for both the students and the staff).

Luckily, my co-proctor, Dennis Simpson, yesterday gave me an interesting bit of trivia before we began the test. Dennis mentioned that at one time, a movie was filmed at Princeton High School. He said it was more of a made-for-tv movie, but that it was a legitimate feature-length production. He could remember the approximate title: The Spider's Web or Spider Web. He had a vague memory of a few scenes: a flying car landed in the PHS gymnasium, students visited a 'nearby' quarry (actually filmed in Bedford, Indiana), and someone drawing a diagram on a chalkboard and explaining the interconnectedness of all things, as in the titular spider's web. And he also knew the director, Scott Wegener, then a cameraman at local WCPO and now a reporter at the same station. Dennis said he has been looking for a copy of The Spider's Web for years and that he had initially videotaped it when it was first broadcast (oddly before he came to teach at PHS) but had long ago lost his copy of the cassette.

I, being the bored teacher that I was - and with third quarter grades having been turned in the evening before - went a hunting via the web. I had no luck at IMBD, finding lots of other movies with very similar titles but not this one. Amazon and ebay were both strikeouts, too. YouTube didn't provide anything other than videos of spider webs in Cincinnati or filmed by someone named either Scott or Wegener. In fact, the only mentions of the production that I could find on the web were listed along with Scott Wegener and even then just in passing as one of his previous projects (adding that it was filmed in 1995). I did find his production company, on whose website I found the only production still (see above) and most in-depth plot summary that I have managed to locate.
Two high school students competing in a state science fair improve on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Stars Nick Arrom, Adam Winston

In a semi-desperate attempt, I sent Mr Wegener an email at his WCPO account (I oddly couldn't find any contact information on his production company's website) asking if he had or knew where I could purchase a copy.

Anybody know where I can find copies of twenty-year-old, locally-produced, probably never distributed, after-school-special-type 'movies'?

I would love to find a copy of this video (ideally on DVD or digital file) out there but am currently, as the post title suggests, stumped.

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