A horror film crafted in large part by Shenandoah University students through The Film Studio at Shenandoah was selected for Oklahoma’s largest film festival.
The feature, “GetAWAY,” was screened at the deadCenter Film Festival, which was held virtually from June 11 through June 21. It’s the 20th anniversary of deadCenter, which Movie Maker magazine has called one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.”
‘GetAWAY’ being accepted to deadCenter is a real validation for the film. We had very little time or money to make it, the students’ school schedules made it brutal to shoot at night (which we had to do) and the entire team (except the director, producer and director of photography) was made up of inexperienced college students. The fact that we’ve been chosen as an Official Selection, by a film festival of deadCenter’s standing, legitimizes the film and the work we did. Thousands of films are submitted every year and we were chosen, not as a student film, but as one of the seven narrative feature films being presented. It’s very exciting for the film, the team that made it, and the university, whose film program is doing something truly unique in academia.”
Blayne Weaver | Shenandoah’s director in residence, who also wrote and directed the movie
The other film industry professionals involved in the project were Paul DiFranco, director of The Film Studio at Shenandoah, who served as a producer, and Director of Photography Chad McClarnen.
“GetAWAY” tells the story of a group of college students who plan to shoot a horror film over a weekend, only to find themselves stalked by a slasher.
The students got to participate in an actual production and build practical filmmaking skills. Both the crew and the cast were afforded the unique opportunity to learn how a set runs and got to practice their craft in a way that rarely happens outside the Hollywood system.”
Students ran sound and lighting, and performed assistant camera, script supervision and assistant director work, and made up almost all of the cast.
Students in DiFranco’s film production class received academic credit for working on the film, while others took part extracurricularly. All the students received “an actual feature film credit on their resume before even graduating college,” Weaver noted.
Filming for “GetAWAY” occurred during the fall 2018 semester. However, Weaver said the finishing touches on the feature – in terms of color correction and sound design – were just completed.
The film is a product of The Film Studio at Shenandoah, which Weaver called an entirely distinctive creation of DiFranco’s. “What is so wonderfully unique about our film program is that students are making full-length feature films for the marketplace,” DiFranco said.
No other universities are making professional-grade feature films for the actual film market with students. The true-to-life experience being offered is priceless both to the film students and to acting students who may have spent years on stage but are rarely in front of a camera. Not to mention, students also emerge from university with a legitimate film credit to their resume, which is such a help when getting a start in entertainment.”
While the deadCenter showing served as the film’s world premiere, Weaver said he hopes it will be featured at more festivals in the future.
“GetAWAY” screens online on Saturday, June 13. Learn more and buy tickets at the deadCenter website.