By Alec Escarcega
Big Bear, California, is usually a place for tourists to enjoy many activities such as Snowboarding/Skiing, exploring the village, enjoying water sports on the lake, Oktoberfest, or even camping during the seasons. To most, it’s exactly that, but to young filmmakers, it is an area of possibility regarding location.
A group of CSU students decided Big Bear was the perfect backdrop for a horror film. I found them through a listing online looking for funding for the film and asked if I could join the crew as a BTS photographer/videographer to which they agreed, and I was on my way.
Despite sounding like the beginning of a horror story considering the circumstance, I can assure you it was quite the opposite.
The cast and crew were all down to earth and welcoming people willing to hear out any creative ideas a person had about a scene or anything else.
To my surprise, they had created an environment that was positive and receptive which was new, especially factoring in other film sets I’ve been on in the past.
I quickly became familiar and rather chatty with most of the cast during my visit. One, in particular, was executive producer Larry Sayers.
Sayers shared that nearly everyone in the cast was a student at USC currently.
“Yes most of us are either third or fourth years with the exception of I believe two people who are now in the grad program and then a couple of us having already graduated,” said Sayers.
Sayers stated that he and the other members of the cast and crew had decided that film was the career path they wanted to pursue.
“I think mostly all of us have bought into the idea that this is what we want to do for our careers and there’s no other option,” said Sayers.
The film is part of a program on campus, and according to Sayers, the specific program is not for everyone, but these students were dedicated to seeing it and the finished product for the film through.
“The program on campus isn’t for everyone and usually those who stick through it and continue on are usually the ones who agree to come to these shoots,” said Sayers.
What I found most impressive throughout the entire weekend was the culture they had brought with them from campus. What I mean by this is; it was refreshing to see a young group of students all with one goal in mind. To make the best film they can create. There weren’t any excuses made to one another throughout the weekend, but instead, answers and options were offered when an idea wasn’t working.
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