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Broadcasting Grad Makes it Big in Hollywood

arongaudethussonmagazine“It was like walking a tightrope producing a movie during the pandemic,” said Aron Gaudet, a 1996 graduate of the New England School of Broadcasting (NESB) known today as the New England School of Communications (NESCom). The movie he referred to had a limited theatrical release on September 10 by STX Entertainment and viewings on Paramount Plus on September 30. Queenpins, a dark comedy, is a first of its kind from the duo Gaudet and his partner and wife Gita Pullapilly.

The plot is inspired by a true story, yet with a comedic approach. Connie (Kristen Bell) and her best pal JoJo (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) turn a hobby into a multi-million dollar counterfeit coupon caper. This sparks a hot pursuit by a hapless loss prevention officer (Paul Walter Hauser) and a determined U.S. postal inspector (Vince Vaughn).

Gaudet and Pullapilly have cowritten and produced numerous films including The Way We Get By about the troop greeters at Bangor International Airport and Beneath the Harvest Sky, filmed in Aroostook County.

At NESB, Gaudet earned an Associate of Science degree in broadcasting in 1996. He acknowledged, “I took classes involving cameras and editing which I was truly passionate about.” Going back to his childhood, he confessed, “Watching movies was definitely at the top of my list.”

Upon graduation, Gaudet migrated to TV news and promotions starting at ABC 7 in Bangor. In Vermont, his passion for filmmaking got in the way, “Eventually they [management] figured out what I was spending all of my time on and fired me, but I did finish the film, so it was worth it.”

He ultimately landed in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he met Pullapilly. Their dislike for their jobs led them to break into filmmaking. “Making our first documentary with Gita was kind of like a film school for both of us,” said Gaudet. He added, “It’s been an ever-evolving journey to get to where we are and it always feels like we’re growing.” Pullapilly confirmed of her ‘quality control’ guy, “He is adamant about making sure anything we make is the best version of what we’ve created together.” 

At the August preview of Queenpins in Rockport, Maine, the couple shared the struggles they faced in the movie industry. The bright spot, however, was once they started filming and the pandemic hit, the show still went on, said Gaudet, “Our insurance policy was a bit of a ‘golden ticket’ that would cover our financiers if we had to shut down because of COVID (thank God we never did), so it was easier to get the film financed.”

The Old Town native now lives in LA, yet folks back home and at NESCom are still quick to share how proud they are of Aron Gaudet.

For more stories of success, advancement and opportunity from around the Husson community, visit the Husson Spotlight webpage.

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