The big screen isn’t too far off for Salt Lake Community College students. Last Saturday was the release of two projects that SLCC students had their hands in: Immaculate Misperceptions and Ground Zero. Both films were created with little to no budget and plenty of volunteer work. However, the twisted plot lines, individual musical scores and stunning HD would suggest otherwise. The screenings were shown at the Fort Douglas Post Theater located on the U of U campus.
Writer/Director Steve Greene and his short film, Immaculate Misperceptions, produced by the SLCC Summer Film Boot Camp, instantly throws you into the plot of two men sent out on a strange job by a shady employer. The 23-minute short has elements of both mystery and comedy, and much of the film relies on the strong and humorous dialogue between actors Brenden Whitney and Greg Barnett, who are constantly at odds with each other. Garrett Christian and Jacob Purser wrote the film’s own musical score, which greatly contributes to the mood and ambience. Director of Photography, David Westphal, utilized an arsenal of great camera angles and lighting to emphasize the characters’ emotions and feelings. However, the film may not appeal to all, specifically action/adventure fans, but those who crave a story that slowly reveals itself over time will really enjoy this one.
“I’m not a big fan of the quiet, calm films, but I thought the plot was really interesting,” said SLCC student Chris Burch at the release.
Director/Producer Channing Lowe’s film, Ground Zero, was the main course at Saturday’s screening.
The film was directed as an independent production over the summer. Many SLCC students helped with grip work, sound and lighting.
A horror film, Ground Zero took a new stab at the zombie genre by demonstrating the first initial outbreak of a zombie epidemic, as the title suggests. Two “cleaners,” Mike Langer and Sahna Foley are assigned by their mysterious boss to quarantine a warehouse of dead bodies, but later realize that the job is much more than they could have imagined. One of the bodies is the host of a horrible virus that turns its victims into flesh eating zombies.
Lowe pointed out the low budget used in the making of the film, but multiple headshots, gruesome neck bites and plenty of blood flow gave the impression of a big buck movie. Ground Zero “had relatively no budget at all, and many crew members worked for free,” Lowe said at the release.
There aren’t as many actual zombies as most fans would like, but the small amount of money used in the production stretched a long way. Makeup artist Thomas Jensen displayed his great skills on the zombies with bulging veins, bloody faces and nasty wounds. Ground Zero also manages to include great character development, something you don’t often find in a zombie movie, and Langer’s “backups,” D.L. Walker and Chris Harvey incorporate comic relief. It may not be your typical zombie “slasher”, but Ground Zero has all the great principles zombie lovers look for; shady biochemical lab companies, creepy over the shoulder shots and the waiting for the infected persons to finally turn.
All in all, the two films were great. Check out the previews for both films at YouTube. Also check out groundzerothemovie.com.