The College Crapshoot

Writer/Director: Mike Jiran

Cast (in order of appearance):

  • Tom Murphy (Himself/Teacher)
  • Jon Fedors (Pete)
  • Joe Pona (Rob)

Another silent short, this one scored with Billy Joel's somewhat forgettable 1982 track "Surprises," The College Crapshoot deals with the vagaries of college admissions.

Pete and Rob sit together in a history class, but Pete is an A student while Rob pulls mainly B's. Pete is praised constantly and encouraged (directly on his report card, no less!) to apply to the honors college at Penn State University. Rob is categorically discouraged from doing the same.

Time passes, and the mail arrives. Rob happily tells Pete that he's been accepted, to his surprise. Pete then opens his letter. It reads "Congratulations! You've been rejected!" Rob consoles him, to no avail.


  • The College Crapshoot was made in a single afternoon in December 2002 from concept to final cut. Stealing from Bums was made the same afternoon.
  • The film's working title, suggested by Jon Fedors, had been "Even Smart People Can Suck At Life," which was changed only because it was a bit clumsy. An early copy exists with the original title intact.
  • The films were both made for an assignment in Jim DeAngelo's Video Production class, based on the eight worldly dharmas of Buddhism. Each of four groups in the class was assigned a pair of dharmas as a theme. The theme for Crapshoot was "Joy and Despair ."
  • The only member of the cast or crew who was also a member of the group assigned the "Joy and Despair " theme was director and group leader Mike Jiran.
  • The characters aspire to attend the Penn State Honors College for no reason at all other than that an application to that program was lying around at the time of filming.

©2006 Waste of Time Productions. Site by Mike Jiran. Contact Waste of Time Productions.
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