Students complete film ‘Going Down’

July 23, 2010 Feature Print Print

Celia Gunn-Zaboli, leading actress of the film “Going Down,” waits for filming to begin on the set of the short film. The film was made as part of the Oklahoma Film Institute seminar “Producing a Short Movie.” (Danniel Parker/Pioneer)

Filming at OCCC ended July 16 for the upcoming short film, “Going Down.”

Students and filmmakers are working on the editing process and a rough cut of the short should was completed July 23, said Aaron Chenoweth, who co-wrote the screenplay with its male lead Demyilo Ray.

The short film stars students Celia Gunn-Zaboli and Ray. They play the characters Sera and Ryan, a couple arguing aboard an elevator, according to the script and the unfinished footage.

As they quarrel, the elevator makes stops and quirky bystanders crowd in.

The seven-page script is a dialog-derived comedy about a woman questioning her boyfriend’s fidelity after reading his text messages.

The film’s script is full of cultural references about everything from Tiger Woods to “Marathon Man.”

Its jokes are mainly sex zingers about fake orgasms and threesomes, or people pretending to be stoned.

“The film’s similar to an experience I had once upon a time,” said Ray, film and video major. “I was with a young lady and she was a little (crazy). She took it offensively when I got a text message from another lady when we were hanging out.”

This film is the product of the Oklahoma Film Institute’s Seminar, “Producing a Short Movie,” according to OCCC’s website.

The seminar was overseen by the OCCC film department which includes Hollywood veterans Gray Frederickson and Greg Mellott, as well as independent film producer and director Sean Lynch.

“It’s a whole week seminar that undertakes everything necessary to make a film,” Frederickson said.

“We take (students) from the first day of pre-production when we cast the film and build the props, to the final day of editing.

“The filming crew rotates so each scene has a different director.”

Mellot, video production professor, said the only way to learn how to make a movie is by doing it.

“The school teaches foreign languages through immersive experiences,” Mellott said. “That’s what this seminar is, only for film. It’s the only way to teach filmmaking.”

Student filmmakers shot the film using RED Digital Cinema Cameras, giving the picture quality a professional sharpness and clarity. OCCC bought the cameras on a matching grant that cost the school $75,000, Mellott said.

On July 15, the film crew shut down the elevator on the second floor of the Science Engineering and Math Center.

For hours, the alcove behind the stairwell was crowded with bright lights and boom mics, all to capture a shot of the elevator doors opening and closing, revealing the actors inside.

The remaining scenes were filmed on the soundstage in an elevator replica set built from wood by the stagehands, Frederickson said.

Chenoweth said upon release, the film’s name may be changed to “The Elevator.”

“Going Down” will soon be posted at the OCCC film department’s website, which is not yet active, Chenoweth said.

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