Student Spotlight: Conor Holway

by The Cowl Editor on September 14, 2017

Arts & Entertainment

The character "Adderall Boy" standing on a rooftop over Providence, Rhode Island.
Photo courtesy of

by Joe Clancy ’18

A&E Staff

It’s a pill, it’s a boy, it’s Adderall Boy! I recently sat down with Conor Holway ’18 to discuss his recent film, his YouTube success and his future plans. Adderall Boy will be released on Holoway’s Golden Deer Production website on Sept. 27th.

JC: So Conor, how did you get into film?

CH: Well I have always enjoyed movies and in high school I was in a number of student film projects that were similar to my YouTube videos. I always toyed with the idea of making films and [started] around the summer after freshman year…I was in Martha’s Vineyard and had a lot of free time, which was good because it gave me a lot of time to think of ideas. The week before I returned to Providence, I filmed my first video, Handshakes, which was kind of a hack, but it was a dope start.

JC: Your YouTube channel, “Coach Connie,” has been up for two years now. What do you think has been the channel’s biggest achievement?

CH: So when we started out we were using a $50 camera and we didn’t have any scripts or editing. I just wanted to get on camera saying crazy stuff. Over time, and over the grind, we kind of just picked stuff up along the way, and grew. Once I dropped the Cribs video [in which Holway toured Aquinas Hall], kids started to become invested, and from there I have tried my best to be as original as possible. But trust me, it hasn’t been a steady increase, there have definitely been some dips.

JC: How did you come up with the idea of Adderall Boy? How was he born?

CH: So I always knew that I wanted to create a superhero and after coming to college, I realized Adderall kind of gave college kids a certain set of superpowers; so Adderall Boy seemed like a pretty logical character. We just kind of worked at the idea for a little bit and drew from different superheroes, and other genius characters in film to try to create something pretty original.

JC: So how was the filming process? 

CH: We ultimately got all the filming done in late March and I spent about a month going nuts on the edits. Two weeks before the little prescreening behind our house, I realized I really have to zone in so I locked myself away at MIT with all the real geniuses, to finish the project. So for about two weeks straight of 14-16 hour days, I finished the film with literally a few minutes to spare. After the initial screening in April, I went back and tweaked some things; and showed it at the PC Film Fest and then a bunch of bigger fests this summer.

JC: What is your favorite part of the film?

CH: My favorite part of the film is either my scene with Rudy O’Konis ’18 or the scene with Bombs (Tim Blouin ’18). Rudy is just a natural actor, like he just was on point. I still laugh at the scene. There is a specific scene where Adderall Boy overlooks the city, and last minute I decided to toss Bombs in there on a voiceover, which I think is hilarious. He has this really boyish voice that makes him sound like this huge boy-fan of Adderall Boy which was completely unintended.

JC: How did you react to the response to the film?

CH: It was amazing. For the first screening behind my house we had around 100 people, so it was good to feel the love. We then took the film to the Rhode Island Film Festival where it was the most buzzed film online and then we were fortunate enough to win the LA Shorts for Best Student Film (Sept. 2017).

JC: So what does the future hold?

CH: I am launching the Golden Deer Productions, which will be the new brand and we have some sweet swag for sale (wristbands, tee shirts, and more) and launching the website. I want to use the new brand for both my own work, and some of my friends’ work because I have a bunch of friends who do really awesome stuff but don’t necessarily have a platform to market their work. I’m also working on a new film which should be much better and much more concise than Adderall Boy, but very different.  I don’t want to give too much away, but it is drawn primarily from personal experience. I just really want to try something different, but execute.

JC: Is there anyone you would like to thank for their help in producing Adderall Boy or other projects?

CH: I have to shout out my AD/cameraman/writer Jack Bigelow, SeaBass (Daniel Barton ’18) who handled a lot of the heavy production, and Stefan Puente ’17 who was cinematographer. And then all 15 actors on the project, everyone who came to that first screening behind the crib, and Father Gumbert. Also, I haven’t met him personally but I owe Austin Kulig a shirt for doing a bunch of graphic work for me. Someone track that kid down for me, please.