Lights! Camera! Action! at Shenandoah

Posted: October 23, 2012

The Winchester Star

Shenandoah University Caught On Film! members Maria Terrell (from left), Evin Hoffman, Jon Graham and Elizabeth Wyld work on making a short film. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Evin Hoffman and Elizabeth Wyld sat in front of bright lights and a camera on a couch in the basement of a friend’s house.

On Monday, the Shenandoah University students shot the short film “Cucurbitophobia,” named after Hoffman’s character’s fear of pumpkins.

During the film, Hoffman begins to fear the orange fruit after he sticks his hand into one and pulls out a bloody nub — made possible with the use of a prosthetic hand and fake blood.

The movie ends with Hoffman exorcising his demons by using a sledgehammer on the demonic pumpkin.

The comedic gorefest is the brainchild of SU’s first-ever film club, Caught on Film! The flick will be shown at Halloween Spooktastic — a movie event on Oct. 30, at 10 p.m. at Ruebush Hall on campus.

Junior Mariea Terrell came up Jwith the idea for the club after a networking trip to New York City.

“Everyone was saying, ‘You need to take what you want into your own hands,’” she said.

After submitting a constitution and mission statement, the club became official last week.

“It’s in the start-up stages,” said Wyld, dubbed the secretary of the club. “We’re making up the rules as we go.”

Hoffman called the club a “launching pad.”

“It’s an opportunity for people to learn how to film and how to act on camera,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for students to learn how different and alike it is compared to stage work.

There are eight main members of the club and 71 students who participate. Interest, according to the members, continues to increase.

Members make their own movies, but any SU student can submit a screenplay and choose actors for their film while the club finds someone to shoot and direct it.

The club will also hold workshops with local professionals, who will discuss filmmaking, screenwriting, costumes, lighting and editing.

Members are hopeful that the club can be a community effort — that local professionals will come forward to help with the workshops and that local businesses will be receptive to film shoots.

The creation of the club coincides with a push from school officials and students to introduce film into the acting curriculum.

“This opens up a lot more opportunities,” said member Jon Graham, who works on the technical side of filming. “If you’re acting on stage, you can now audition for commercials or TV.”

Added junior Zane Rerek, “With film and TV actors, they’re still impressed if you have a theater background.”

The club funds itself through events and donations. Members will also look into possible grant funding in the future.

— Contact Rebecca Layne at