But the filming process was not without setbacks, either by human error or environmental forces. In the chase scene, Hoffmire’s character is leaning out the window of the van, filming an alien spaceship. During one of the takes, his hat flew off.
“I managed to catch it with my left hand, which I was initially impressed by, but I quickly realized that I was now not holding onto anything and could very well fall out of the moving van. Luckily, Nicos was holding my leg, and all was fine,” he said.
“We leaned into mistakes and flaws. We ended up loving this take, as it felt the most authentic because of the mistakes,” Hoffmire added. “All of those unplanned moments that ended up working perfectly are the reason this short film turned out as well as it did.”
And when they shot the final scene, it was freezing and windy. “Poor Zach was wearing a white tank top and falling around in the snow. I had my hands covered in fake blood. I learned that fake blood freezes at a higher temperature than water, so my hands started freezing,” Wiard said. “After the scenes were done, Zach drove home shaking, and I drove home with paper towels stuck to my hands so I wouldn't get fake blood on my steering wheel.”
While students collaborate across campus to create cinematic magic, faculty also enjoy stepping in to collaborate on their projects.
Lucas Falkavage, of Stevens Point, explained in his interview how Wheeler was excited about Falkavage’s murder mystery, “Shared Space,” and helped with a rough version.
Falkavage thinks that what makes UW-Stout unique is the “genuine passion that goes into our projects. And that’s not just from the students, it’s from the professors as well. Our professors are always willing to go above and beyond the role of teacher to bring our creations to life.”
While Wheeler helped Falkavage with the writing, one of the primary roles in his film is voiced by Lecturer Co O’Neill. “You can tell that they are just as excited as us to make awesome videos,” Falkavage said.