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The Peter Movie: A Film by His Friends

Photos courtesy of Jacob Bernardino

The star of The Peter Movie: Peter Feng

Peter Feng might seem to be just an ordinary student, but to many folks around Eagle Rock, he is so much more than an ordinary student. The story of The Peter Movie begins with a group of friends, and more importantly Peter Feng and Jacob Bernardino. In 2016 Bernardino decided to make a short comedic film called His name is Peter. This video hailed Peter as a champion of their friend group, who would “cut people down with his Katana collection if you didn’t vote for him.” Although His name is Peter wasn’t meant to continue, this video sparked a saga of short films by Peter, Bernardino, and their friends known collectively as The Election. Bernardino has a YouTube channel called Flipbookstudios, which has evolved since its inception in 2012. The Election series parodied the real life elections of 2016, but instead of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it was Peter Feng and “Horseman,” played by James Avila, who were running for office. Horseman is a parody of Trump and is later elected as President of the United States. Near the end of the election, an improvised scene by Feng laid the groundwork for The Peter Movie. Feng was seen yelling, “Help I am being kidnapped by ISIS!” and according to Bernardino, ̈ Without Peter getting kidnapped, [The Peter Movie] would have never happened.”

Over the next few years, Bernardino ́s Cinematic Universe would continue without Peter. Until Bernardino ́s next major project, Tim Vendetta Justice Hunter, in which a dark and broody public execution in an ISIS stronghold, during which Peter escapes. This is all that’s known about Peter’s whereabouts in the Cinematic Universe before the start of The Peter Movie. Bernardino has said in an interview that the corrupt government of the universe, Isis, and a place called “Puppet Africa(I have no idea what Puppet Africa is, but I’m sure we’ll find out!) will all be prominently featured in The Peter Movie.

Although Bernardino does the lion’s share of directing, cinematography, and writing, his group of friends have supported and even created many of projects by writing, directing, acting, and performing stage crew duties. The extent of this production is surprisingly extensive with around 14 to 15 people involved in the production of the film. One actor, I spoke to, Danner Renfro, who plays several characters along with CIA director John Conway “I’ve spent around 36-48 hours filming, and writing for The Peter Movie” The amount of videos they have made together is outstanding, Many of these films take place in a shared Universe. This reporter was lucky enough to participate and view during a production. The amount of time and effort put into costume, set design, and acting. For a friend group with other obligations in school and life, it's incredible what they have managed to do.

Every production, no matter how big or small, well funded or not, features well-produced drama. Production of The Peter Movie has spurts of “doing everything” with much of the time spent “doing nothing.” Timing and stress seems to be a major issue for production. For example two of the filming days were delayed because the director along with the camera equipment arrived later than any of the cast or crew. “Filming takes hours upon hours.” Says Renfro

Why make a movie on Peter Feng? Well it depends on who you ask. I have heard many different descriptions of Peter Feng’s character. There are two views about Peter Feng as a character shared by his friends. The first theory believes the Peter Feng that is in the movie is more powerful than regular Peter. This idea is that Peter Feng wants to become as powerful as the movie Peter. The other theory is that Peter could do everything in the movie and it is almost a documentary. These ideas are ultimately left up to the viewer to decide, but it is safe to say that his friends have a very interesting view of him.

The Peter Movie wouldn’t be in anyone’s mind if it wasn’t for his friends. This project has been based around his friends’ ideas, and without them Peter Feng would be in everyone's mind a lot less. Director Bernardino cited his friends as a major inspiration when writing the script for The Peter Movie, “I think we all see Peter as kind of a god.” These friends have been together making video since before 2016, while Bernardino has been making videos on his Youtube channel since he was 11 years old in 2012. The Peter Movie is significant for these group of friends, as it may be one of the last videos they make together. This is the final chapter of all their hard work, and I cannot wait to see it!

The Peter Movie is expected to come out around December. All the cast and crew are going to attend a special screening in a theater in Downtown LA, and as one cast member has said, “It is all worth it in the end, just to go to the screening!” If you want to watch The Peter Movie subscribe to Flipbookstudios, and be ready! And remember, as Director Bernardino has warned “It is all a joke! Don’t take it seriously!”

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