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Stevenson Villager

FMI students help create short films

Students working together to film the perfect shot. (Villager file photo)
Students working together to film the perfect shot. (Villager file photo)

Stevenson University students, alumni and faculty worked with other creators on two films this past summer: “Finding Phoebe” and “Ape Canyon.”

The film “Finding Phoebe” highlights important issues such as sexual assault and finding ones identity. (Photo from IMDB)

“Finding Phoebe” was the first of the two films shot, from May 21-25 in Baltimore, MD. According to Faith Larsen, associate producer of the film and senior film and moving image major,“‘Finding Phoebe’ highlights extremely important issues such as sexual assault and identity, while boasting a predominantly female crew, especially in the lead roles of director, actors and producers.”

Stevenson students worked with writer, producer and lead actress of the film, Krenee Tolson, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles. According to Larsen, the film is based on Tolson’s own hardships that she faced in Baltimore.

“We heard about the opportunity [for the film] through our professor, Dina Fiasconaro,” said Alyssa Douglas, production assistant and senior film and moving image major. “I thought it would be a great learning and networking experience.”

Shooting the short film was no easy task.

“We had a lot of issues on set, being that the film grew into a much larger project. I think we all felt the potential of the film and wanted to make sure to see that through,” said Douglas.

The film crew of “Ape Canyon” was excited for the release of their short film. (Photo from “Ape Canyon” Facebook)

“Ape Canyon” was the second film worked on over the summer, filmed from June 1-23 in Washington state and in Maryland.

According to Stacie Gentzler, producer of the film and a faculty member in the film and moving image department, “Ape Canyon” is about Cal Piker, and his big sister going on a Bigfoot hunting adventure. Nothing can stop Piker from reaching Ape Canyon.

“This film was written by a man named Harrison Demchick, who has been fascinated with cryptozoology for much of his life. Harrison met the director, Josh Land, and the director of photography, Victor Fink, who brought myself and much of the crew on board,” said Gentzler.

“The hardest part for me as a producer, was balancing the challenge of the vast script and the landscape of the Northwestern United States with the limited budget we had to work with. It was a challenge, but everyone helped pull it off beautifully.”

Rachel Pollock, a Stevenson alumni, has become a mentee of Gentzler’s in production.

“Rachel has really grown into production managing and also helped bring on much of the crew,” said Gentzler.

With more than 10 years of producing and production managing films, Gentzler was excited to be on set.

“My favorite part was seeing how this young and very talented crew became a well-oiled machine over the three weeks of filming,” said Gentzler.

Though both films included Stevenson faculty and students, at the moment there are no plans for the films to be shown on campus.

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FMI students help create short films