By SUSANNA MEYER
Excitement filled the air as the cast and production crew prepared to shoot a scene for Alottabit Studios’ new film “According to Scott” on Saturday night. Props and gear were arranged around the set, and everyone was eager to hear the magic word: “Action!”
Alottabit Studios is based in Marshalltown and is owned by David Seuss, who is also the director of “According to Scott.” He said the film is a comedy, focusing on the namesake protagonist as he and several other characters come together in a therapeutic setting. Neither of them really get along at first, but eventually they grow on each other.
“(The characters) come to this place, then after a while they realize, ‘I really need this person.’ So they start changing and working together,” Seuss said.
With that premise in mind, Seuss said Saturday was mostly a tryout. Trying out different camera angles and lighting and getting a feel for the scenery are all important steps in preparing for the bulk of filming in the summer.
The development process began in the summer of 2021, but Seuss said some setbacks have delayed production.
“We actually had to flip coins. So it took most of the time to put that together, and we’re still rolling. We’re always trying to get more background extras,” Seuss said. “So, now we’re back (to filming).”
Doris Kinnick is in charge of casting the film, and although she had no previous casting experience, she was up to the challenge.
“It’s a very unique experience, and it’s a lot of fun. There’s actually a lot of challenges that I’ve never taken on before, and I love challenges,” Kinnick said.
The actors were equally enthusiastic about their roles in the film. Matthew Millard – a student at Iowa State University – plays Scott.
“I think the concept is really unique, and just being involved in the production of the film is exciting,” he said.
Millard sent in an audition video in response to a casting call, and he was thrilled to get the part. He came with extensive acting experience, and his most recent role was in the Ames Community Theater production of “The Full Monty.”
Another of the cast, Chloe Cornwell, plays a role that Seuss dubbed “the pepper spray girl” because her character’s main purpose is to pepper spray Scott. Cornwell has a history with acting, primarily in theater.
“Usually for the theater it’s a take for the hour of the show, and if you’re wrong at all, you just have to play it. But, for a film, you can take as many risks as necessary until you finally get to do it the way you want it or the director wants it to be. So it’s a little bit easier in that regard,” she said.
Besides being excited about pepper spraying the main character, Cornwell can’t wait to see the finished product.
Bai Ling, a Chinese-American actress well known for her role as Miss East in “Wild, Wild West,” and Megan Reneau, a Canadian actress, are also part of the cast, Seuss said, and they will attend shoots this summer.
“It’s something that people who perform or tour can put on a resume and say – kind of like a demo tape – and say, ‘Look what I’ve done’. So it brings the community together, it allows people to use their stuff and learn how to get better,” Seuss said.
While “According to Scott” is far from finished, Seuss and his team hope it will be available on Netflix and other streaming services when it’s finished.
Contact Susanna Meyer at