Chris Carter ’16, Liam Hall ’16 and Matias Breuer, Vassar University alumni ’16, are only a year out of college and already well on their way to producing their first feature film, “Here On Out”.
Carter, Hall and Breuer — who studied cinema, film and television arts respectively — began crowdfunding through their website www.hereonoutthemovie.com on Jan. 19, and will be working toward their goal of $18,000 through March 1.
“Here On Out” follows five childhood friends who celebrate their college graduation by going to a cabin in the woods. While at the cabin, the friends work to reconnect with their pasts and rekindle relationships but find that more has changed than they thought. Add in a sinister neighbor, a budding romance and a mysterious knock on the door, and Carter, Hall and Breuer have created a setup for a blend of both drama and comedy — a reflection of the true life of a recent college graduate.
“They’re all sort of different manifestations of what we’re going through right now,” said Breuer, co-director and co-writer of the film, alongside Hall. “It’s a point of your life where you’re facing a big transition and a lot of irreversible change. We can relate to all of them.”
As a micro-budget film — which must be spread thin to support location, equipment and transportation costs, among others — the three recent graduates are facing challenges that push them to see how much they can do with what little they have. Carter and Hall have relied on their alma mater to provide both human and material resources.
“Here On Out” will feature at least two Elon University actors — seniors Austin Larkin and Nicole Bloom — and Hall is hoping to cast the other three roles with Elon student actors as well.
Larkin is thrilled to be part of another project with Carter and Hall after shooting the short film “Stay and Run” with them last year.
“I’m so proud of that film and the success it’s had at film festivals in recent months,” Larkin said. “This team is truly brilliant, and I can’t wait to work with them on a longer script.”
“Here On Out” will have a casting call early this month, and auditions will be held at Elon at a time to be announced. The film still needs more hands to help out on set and get involved in production during Elon’s spring break. Shooting will take place March 17- 26.
Though they are no longer students at the university, Carter, Hall and Breuer are permitted by Elon to checkout equipment to minimize excessive costs in exchange for providing opportunities to Larkin, Bloom and other potential student actors.
“It’s a two for one because any way to help them, helps us,” said Hall. “There are still some big costs to get us there, but the equipment really helps.”
The equipment provided by Elon includes a special cinema RED Scarlet camera, which mimics the traditional film camera, but is recorded digitally. Elon junior and Gear Room Operations Assistant Gabriel Salvador explained that this particular camera is offered to an exclusive group of cinema students and certain faculty members.
“In order to have access to the RED camera they have to have special training, and only a handful of people actually have that,” said Salvador.
Still, Carter, Hall and Breuer are aware that Elon students have priority with Elon equipment use, posing one of many challenges of “Here On Out” production. Among these challenges, they still manage to look on the bright side and have a little fun.
Each incremental donation receives a reward, ranging from a personalized haiku shout out on Facebook to Executive Producer credit. This mixed reward style is not only quirky but also appeals to a wide range of potential pledges.
“We wanted to balance what our older family members — people that we thought would give to our project — would want out of a reward with people our age, who we want to get involved too,” Hall said. “Of course, haikus on the daily.”
They hope to present the finished feature at festivals. Most of all, Hall wants to be continually inspired to make more movies.
“A big risk is that it’s so exhausting pouring everything into it,” he said. “If it doesn’t turn out well, it can be pretty discouraging.”
The risk, however, is arguably the most important part of the process.
“Don’t be afraid to go out and make stuff,” Hall said. “At Elon you have all the resources to make really great projects. It’s such a great opportunity to be an Elon cinema major with all these resources and people who also love to make things. Don’t take that for granted.”