Students create short film on campus

On April 1, 2023, a group of Point Loma Nazarene University film students set up equipment to film a short film called “Who’s Watching Me.” The film is about a college student who thinks he is being stalked by someone, only to find out that the truth is much more mysterious. The film was being shot for COM 4025-Advanced Television Workshop taught by Professor Lynn Walsh, and featured a small cast and crew of seven people. 

Due to scheduling constraints, the team only had one weekend to film their six-page script. A typical rule of thumb is that one page of a script is equal to one minute of film, but that did not change the fact that hours of footage were shot over the course of the weekend. As is standard in filming, every scene had to be shot multiple times to get a good take, due primarily to actors making a mistake or forgetting their lines. 

“The most challenging part was not laughing,” said second year media communication-production major and biblical studies minor Adley Van Soest, who played a key role in the film.  

The crew also needed multiple cameras set up simultaneously to capture different angles, and often had three cameras recording at once. This allows the editor to sift through the different angles to pick the best one for each scene. 

Setting up the cameras and audio equipment, as well as the lighting equipment for indoor shots in each location was very time consuming, especially considering the film was shot on multiple locations around Point Loma’s campus. These included the lawn by the Greek Amphitheater, a dorm room in Wiley Hall and a classroom in Cabrillo Hall where professor James Wicks filled in as a fictional science professor in one scene. Fortunately, media communication students are allowed to check out filming equipment from Point Loma’s TV studio for free, so no students needed to provide equipment. 

Director Clara Wilks, a second year media communications-production major said that, “Coordinating a bunch of people can be really challenging” while cinematographer Fernanda Santillan, a fourth year Media Communication Production major said she had, “never had this much responsibility before [on a film],”and that it sometimes felt like she was figuring things out as she went along. 

Santillan added that having professors work on a film with students could be helpful, saying they could, “tell us how, show us how to do things. It sometimes felt like a bit too much to just figure out.” 

Despite the challenges involved, the crew said they were also quite happy with the process. Santillan mentioned liking, “Just getting creative with the camera and feeling more confident with it,” and added that, “we had an idea [for the shots] but once you’re there you have to adapt according to a number of factors.” She also mentioned liking the collaborative aspect of filming, and how, “everyone was just jumping in and throwing out ideas to get it done.”

Wilks mentioned that, for her, the most satisfying part did not happen yet, but will happen once editing is complete.

 “I love just seeing it come together at the end, and the final result and how amazing it hopefully will be,” Wilks said.

The film is scheduled to complete editing sometime in late April. 

Van Soest added that she was happy to be in front of the camera for the first time.

“I’d never done never done acting before,”  Van Soest said. “It was a new experience and getting to be on the other side of the camera was fun.”

“Who’s Watching Me” will finish editing sometime in late April, and be submitted and viewed in COM 4025. As of right now the class does not have plans to release it elsewhere, but it will likely end up on Youtube or Point TV’s Instagram account @pointtvplnu. 

Disclaimer: It should be noted that the author of this article assisted with the production of this film, and served as an extra in a few scenes. 

Written By: Troy Davidson