Student Film “No. 19” begins to wrap up on production

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By Katie Betz, betzka@mnstate.edu

The crew of the film “No. 19” is reaching the end of production. Brianna Overstreet, production designer for the film, is a senior majoring in film production.

Photo by: Aaron Beck

“In the beginning of last semester, we did a lot of pre-production. Looking at the script, planning what things we need, what shots we’re going to do. For me as the production designer, it was a lot deciding what props we need and how we’re going to get them: should we make them, should we buy them, borrow them from people? All of that,” Overstreet said.

For producer Chris Cook, one of the more complex parts of production was “wrangling” the different locations. “No. 19” was filmed at five different locations, including a lake house, the ballroom in the CMU, Hansen Theater at MSUM, a house and the last one at the Plains Art Museum. Their last day of filming is March 17.

“The production design was very purposeful, it’s less of a straight narrative like that you see in regular Hollywood movies or anything,” Overstreet said. “It’s more like using the production design and elements to tell the story, because it’s a visual piece. It doesn’t really have dialogue.”

According to writer and director Rodrigo Costa planning the scenes and storyboarding also took up a lot of the team’s time. Because of the lack of dialogue, the actor’s movements in front of the camera are even more important to get right.

Photo by: Aaron Beck

“Film, you can tell through sound, through dialogue, but going back to the very root of what film is, film is very much a visual art. It’s about the cinematography, how you design what the shot looks like and where you edit,” Cook said.

The film’s visual focus made writing the script a challenge. Costa’s inspiration for “No. 19” came from many different horror films, but mainly from “Black Mirror.” Overstreet said that the film’s running time is looking to be about 12 minutes.

Cook summarized the plot of “No. 19,” a psychological horror film.

“It follows a man as he goes through a dreamscape-like sequence as he’s experiencing different versions of events that he was a part of and throughout it he becomes further and further connected to his emotions. In the end he has to face his inner darkness and a realization of his actions and what he’s done, and he faces some pretty severe consequences,” Cook said.

 

According to Costa, their goal was to create an eerie atmosphere in the film instead of going for jump scares.

The crew came together before fall semester even began. Costa said that they all wanted to make sure they were working with people who cared about the project. This film is the capstone project for each member of the crew.

“It’s been a real challenging task but also a real invigorating one to use all of our knowledge we’ve gotten through projects we’ve worked on here (at MSUM),” Cook said.

He explained that they want the audience to be engaged with the piece and walk away with their own interpretation of the film.

For anyone interested in learning more about “No. 19,” the senior seminar screening for student films is on Friday, May 3. “No. 19” can be found on Facebook and on Instagram.

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