Beacon Features: Campus Legends genre gets more dramatic

By Michael Noble
Contributing Writer

In the few past weeks, a new and exciting project has gotten underway for the student film department at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

“Campus Legends” has been an annual project for film students during the past three years. The series was created to give film students field experience through actually making a movie. The project is filmed, directed and produced entirely by students. It is a senior project and is completely fictional.

Auditions were held on Sept. 15 and 16 in the Pembroke Studio and were reviewed by a handful of casters equipped with a video camera for future reference in case of any later indecision.

Up to 40 people auditioned for a role in the project and most were female. There were only five spots available for parts, so all parts have been filled.

“The roles were college aged and we had a lot of strong actors come out. So it was probably the most competitive PBA student film audition to date,” said Ben Anklam, “Campus Legends” director.

Shooting began this past weekend and will take about four weeks for completion. Most of the shooting will be done in places other than at PBA campus itself.

In past years “Campus Legends” has been based on urban legends that have to do with the school and something that supposedly happened in its past. So far the project has only been used for teaching purposes of senior film students to grant them vast amounts of experience in the field.

However the next step, according to Executive Producer Professor Antonio Zarro, is to get the series on PBA’s local television station. This semester’s addition to the series will be available for viewing at the PBA annual showcase. But soon we can expect to watch it on our own within the confines of dorm life.

Zarro oversees, delegates and follows up on what Anklam and Ryan Jensen, producer, do during the process of filming and producing. Typically the director would also write the script, but this year the job is being given to someone else.

Screen writing major Amanda Caffey is in a very unique position since she is the only senior writer and has not had anything produced previously. Therefore, she will be in charge of writing the screenplay for this year’s series.

There are more freshmen working on set this year as well. Teaching them and maintaining the same pace at the same time will prove challenging for the experienced crew. However there was a display of anticipation for the new theme of the film in progress.

The previous “Campus Legends” have been somewhat comedic in style and have left out a certain seriousness that was desired.

Anklam decided to take a different route this year. He wanted the genre to be closer to a drama rather than a comical tale.

“Three of the last four campus legends have been written and shot as campy comedies,” Anklam said. “This script is no exception, but I’m going to shoot it as a dramatic horror piece.”

To give it a darker, loftier feel, Anklam, along with others, made some changes to give it more practicality.

With lots of impressive work already in Anklam’s portfolio such as last year’s film “Poker Face,” the “Campus Legends” series is likely to take on a more serious role as a student film project.

All together, this year’s “Campus Legends” will be one of many highly anticipated features for years to come.

Student involvement is primarily limited to in-house students. Contact Ryan Jensen at ryan_jensen@pba.edu for any questions regarding the production and possible volunteer work.

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