SBCC students finish shooting horror film

Antonio Salcido, Arts Editor

One month and 10 gallons of blood later, City College film students concluded filming their class project.

In Instructor Stephen Davega’s film production class, the students get graded on two short films they create. They submit a variety of different scripts and the class votes on the best two. Abby Beillen’s script titled, “Watching,” was one that was chosen.The script is based on the Joyce Carol Oates short story, “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?

“I read the story in my English class last year and I just really liked it,”said Beillen, the movie’s director. “I always thought it would make a really good film.”

The first script she wrote was very true to the story but was too slow. She toyed around with it and made it more original. To make it more of a horror film, she added gruesome scenes such as awoman dead in bathtub of blood and a blood-soaked woman hanging from banisters.

The finished product is about an innocent young girl, played by student, Tonia Reyes, who is shadowed by a mysterious boy. The boy desires the girl and must have her. He eventually drags her away and kills her sister.

“I kind of took a more realistic approach, where the girl doesn’t get away, and instead gets kidnapped and taken away at the end,” she said.JCWatching

As director, Beillen instructs the actors and has the final decision on all artistic aspects of the movie. As the filming went on the crew started to diminish. She sometimes had to fill in when they needed props, set design, costume and hair.

“At the start there were 25, and now we are down to seven on set,” she said.

Beillen said this class is a filter for students to see if they want to pursue film or not and is pleased with the amount of talent in her class.

“I’d say 90-percent of the crew are experienced and want to do well, different than other film production classes.”

Students receive no money for the film, so any expenses are out-of-pocket. Most of the money came from Beillen’s personal funds, an estimated total of $700 dollars.

The film was shot at the director’s father’s 10,000 square-foot house in Camarillo and specifically written with the house in mind. However, the commute down to Camarillo became an occasional issue, explained Producer Jazzmin Fragiacomo.

“[As producer] I make sure the director gets what she needs,” said Fragiacomo. “I set up the casting calls and made sure we have all the people we need.”

The students hope to get the post-production done in time to submit the film into the Toronto and Cannes International Film Festivals. The deadlines are in January, March and December 2014.