‘Follies’ video script writer sees joy in production
Park City Follies, a musical spoof and benefit for the Egyptian Theatre, will run through Sunday, April 29, at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Evening curtain is 8 p.m. Sunday curtain is 6 p.m. Tickets range from $34-$50. They can be purchased by visiting www.parkcityshows.com.
Andy Cier believes the videos in this year’s “Park City Follies” production are the best they’ve ever been.
“Usually there are one or two that kind of make us cringe when they come on, but I can watch this year’s videos over and over again,” he said. “I think the crowd really liked them because of how they reacted.”
He should know, because Cier is a member of the musical spoof’s creative team — that includes Paul Tan, Terry Moffitt, Rick Klein, Tom Clyde and Josh Mann — and writes the scripts for the videos that are aired during the production.
Parkites can experience the team’s satire of the affordable housing crisis when “The Park City Follies” continues its run at the Egyptian Theatre through Sunday, April 29.
Cier, who used to have a production company of his own and was a creative director in marketing and advertising, said creating longer sketches is a significant transition from his past experience.
“When I started with ‘Follies,’ I was used to doing 30-second scripts, so I would write things that are a little more cut-heavy and move fast,” he said.
Cier, whose day job is the marketing director for the University of Utah Alumni Association, originally started helping the production during 2014’s production titled “Epic Follies,” which took jabs at Vail and its purchase of Park City Mountain Resort.
“I had known several members of the creative team, particularly Paul and Terry, and they kept telling me I should help them with the show,” Cier said. “After a few years, I decided to finally dive into it.”
Working on the videos is very differnt from one of Cier’s duties when he first started working with “Follies” four years ago.
“I play the harmonica and they would have me play in the band,” said Cier who also played the tambourine and shakers. “I remember during one of the shows I got a text from someone in the audience who asked, ‘Why are they only letting you play the second-grade instruments?’”
After climbning on board to work on the videos, Cier aclimated to writing the longer video scripts. He said he is now comfortable writing and improvising whatever the team needs.
“Some of the videos we shoot now we do off the cuff,” he said. “Someone will have a general idea, and we just go shoot it.”
Other times, the videos are heavily scripted.
“We have the lines, scenes and lighting all mapped out,” he said.
Sometimes Cier will write a script with a certain actor in mind.
“It depends on the project,” he said. “You can have someone in mind, but that can all completely change by the finished product.”
Some of the videos in this year’s production were written nearly a year ago and filmed last summer.
“That gave us some time to step away from them for a while and come back with fresh eyes,” Cier said. “Sometimes we work on the videos so much we get sick of them and need to leave them for a while.”
The big challenge of writing a video script is to make sure the material is fresh.
“We don’t want to tread too much over old ground,” he said. “Like when we try not to use the same songs we’ve done in the past, we don’t want to repeat jokes.”
Keeping a finger on the pulse of the community’s issues is the best way to think of new material, Cier said.
“We really try to see what is hitting the zeitgeist of the community, and I think we do a pretty good job at that,” he said. “We’ve covered transportation in the past and that was big. This year we’re addressing housing, which is on a lot of people’s minds. We’ve all had friends we’ve known for years move away because they couldn’t afford to live in Park City anymore.”
Still Cier enjoys working on “Follies” because the show brings the town together.
“It’s a social event, and I end up seeing people whom I haven’t seen since the last ‘Follies,’” he said. “The beauty of the show is that everyone gets together to laugh at themselves and have a good time. I don’t know if other communities do this. I haven’t lived in other communities that do this.”
Park City Follies, a musical spoof and benefit for the Egyptian Theatre, will run through Sunday, April 29, at the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Evening curtain is 8 p.m. Sunday curtain is 6 p.m. Tickets range from $34-$50. They can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com.
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