Behind the Scenes of Justin & Christian Long's "The Real Stephen Blatt"

In partnership with the Ringling College Studio Lab and Semkhor Productions, brothers Justin and Christian Long filmed their new comedic series, ‘The Real Stephen Blatt’, in Sarasota this October. The series, written by both brothers and directed by Justin, is a result of an initial visit by Justin and Christian to Ringling College last year. Ringling students in the Studio Lab program as well as graduates working on the series are gaining valuable production experience and screen credits as part of Ringling College’s Collaboratory Commitment.  ‘The Real Stephen Blatt’ is produced by David Shapiro and Tony Stopperan and features Justin as Stephen Blatt as he seeks internet celebrity and provides a compelling view of the dissociative effect of social media on today’s youth with humor, satire and pathos.

See below for production photos and videos from the set.


Eye of the Cinematographer

Key Grip Dennis Lukovsky, Gaffer Alex Lukovsky and Cinematographer Nick Morgulis discuss Lighting Stephen Blatt’s Bedroom for a nighttime scene.

‘The Real Stephen Blatt’ Cinematographer and Ringling Graduate Nick Morgulis discusses the visual look he and the production team have been crafting during production to best communicate ‘internet celebrity’ along with the dissociative effect of social media on today’s youth while encompassing the humor, satire and message of the film.

Look and Feel

Art Director, Shantanu Suri, and Production Designer, Sebastian Selisnki, designed and created this planetary mobile for the teen bedroom of Justin Long’s character, Stephen Blatt, mirroring the primary colors of leading social media sites.

‘The Real Stephen Blatt’ Production Designer Sebastian Selinski and Art Director Shantanu Suri chat about their respective roles on the production and the challenges in designing with a social media palette.

Shooting Exterior Scenes

Cinematographer Nick Morgulis, writer Christian Long, actor Harry Anand, and writer/director/actor Justin Long discuss the Blatt prank scene.

‘The Real Stephen Blatt’ crew prepares to shoot an exterior prank scene in downtown Sarasota with Jennifer Daigle and Harry Anand walking toward Justin Long preparing to ‘Blatt’ them.

High School Daze

Christian Long overseeing shooting of ‘The Real Stephen Blatt’ high school scene at Sarasota’s Booker High School.

Cinematographer Nick Morgulis and Director Justin Long discuss setting up the shot for a P.O.V. (point of view) scene. Shooting to combine a mixture of camera and phone footage to represent the social media milieu required extensive preparation. Actors included Ringing College students: Cole Kornell, Adam Pereira, and Kevin Moody. Camera team working under Morgulis included Ringling Film Alumni Harrison Stagner and Nichole Fernandez.

Pre-Production Wardrobe Selection

(L-R) Hanna Persson ('14) and Keith Neilsen ('15) discussing potential wardrobe looks for the parents in ‘The Real Stephen Blatt’ with Island Pursuits’ Sarah Fulton and Patra Rueangaram.

Keith Neilsen ('15) and Hanna Persson ('14), both grads of Ringling's Business of Art and Design program, talk about how they selected the wardrobe for Justin Long's character in ‘The Real Stephen Blatt.’

Request Info