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Boston University students create Les Misérables video that laments job search for college grads

Posted by Your Town  December 26, 2012 04:03 PM

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Boston University students have created a “Les Misérables” trailer that parodies the daunting post-college experience, generating thousands of hits since it was published on Sunday.

The characters in the film majored in journalism, philosophy, theater, and anthropology and all of them seem to be searching for a job. In one shot, a character receives a rejection letter from a company that says, “Dear 2013 Graduate, You need 5 years work experience for this entry-level job.”

"The Dream Dies. This Graduation,'' says the kicker that ends the 1-minute, 43-second video.

BU Senior Mike Irving, who filmed and directed the trailer, said the trailer is a commentary on what life after graduation is like, and how the American Dream is changing.

“The majority of college kids, they go to college, they get a degree, they don’t work outside of college very much,” Irving said. “Once you graduate, it’s like, where do you go from here?”

Irving, a film major, said his friend Kevin Wang, who graduated this winter, came to him with the idea at the end of the semester. The two had to act quickly because they wanted to publish the video before “Les Misérables” opened in theaters on Christmas day.

Irving said he and Wang convinced their friends to be in the film even though it was exams week.

Irving said he spent no more than three hours filming, and five to six hours editing the footage. The parody is based on the shots in the original trailer, and Irving said his friend, who is a graphic designer, helped to mimic the title slides.

“I couldn’t do it exactly frame by frame, but I tried to emulate it as best as possible,” Irving said.

Irving said he has been pleased with the positive feedback, and that a lot of people can relate to the parody, not just recent grads. His sister’s friends, some of whom are in their 30s and still paying off college loans, said they thought the video was funny and had some truth to it.

“The video is more a statement socially about how (post-college life) realistically is,” he said.

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