Student submits short film to Oklahoma festival

Pioneer File Photo
Shawn Barfield

Film and Video major Shawn Barfield’s short film “By Dawn” has been submitted to Oklahoma’s deadCENTER film Festival.

Barfield served as director and screenwriter. He said the film is based partly on the world of the supernatural.

“The film is a spiritual thriller that centers on a particular ritual connected to early 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley,” Barfield said. “His grandson is going to attempt to succeed where he failed.”

The film is based on Jo Lang’s short story entitled “Dice.”

The cast and crew consisted almost exclusively of OCCC students.


Barfield said he hopes the exposure the film could potentially gain from the festival will not only entertain audiences but also guide others who are interested in filmmaking to look into the college’s Film and Video program.

OCCC film major Cait Brasel, who played the role of Brittany, said the film possesses a roller coaster feel.

“I feel like the suspense [of the film] is strong. It felt like a downhill ride, beginning slowly, and then moving faster,” Brasel said.

Brasel said that making the film was an enthralling experience that she hopes will open doors for a career in filmmaking.

“I am amazed by the film and video program,” Brasel said. “I am completely sold on it. I actually try to talk my friends and brothers into going into it.”

Barfield is quick, however, to warn away those who may be blinded by the bright lights of the film industry.

“I think a lot of students tend to have misconceptions about the program,” he said. “Many of them seem to come into it thinking: ‘this is going to be a fun and easy course,’ but it can be a lot harder then they imagine.”

Barfield noted that any potential film student should do research into the program, the industry, and the requirements before making the decision to pursue a career in film.

“It’s important to have a reality check. The difficulties of the film industry are a lot greater than you may expect,” Barfield said.

When talking about the impact that OCCC’s Film and Video Production program has had on his education in filmmaking, Barfield was very quick to heap praise on his professors and instructors.

“There is no way to describe the level of insight, knowledge, and support that I’ve gained from working with people like Greg [Mellott], Sean [Lynch], and Gray [Frederickson],” Barfield said.

He said they encouraged him to submit his 24-minute film to the festival.

“Greg’s screenwriting class is like the soul of filmmaking; whereas, Sean’s Cinematography and Production Design classes are like the meat and the bones. When you put them all together, you get the full idea of what filmmaking is really about.”

Barfield’s company, Roundhouse Film Productions, has already begun work on its next project, “Dancing in the Chamber,” which is currently in pre-production.

The deadCENTER Film Festival, currently in its 11th year, will run in downtown Oklahoma City from June 8 through 12.

For more information, visit Barfield’s production company website at or visit the official deadCENTER film festival site at on May 1 to see if “By Dawn” is chosen for this year’s festival.

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