By Harley Ryan, Contributor
A class of over 50 students are turning a student-written screenplay into a short film this semester, under the guidance of two-time Telly and Indie Series award-winning director, Paul Awad.
Pre-production and production for the film, entitled “Route 17” started this fall, after adjunct assistant professor Paul DiFranco’s spring 2016 scriptwriting class worked together to create the script.
“I really have enjoyed the response of how many students want to be involved,” said DiFranco. “It really is great to see the enormous interest that students have in film.”
A directed study class was designed to allow students to be involved in every aspect of the filmmaking process.
“It was exciting and a little scary knowing we’d have to write something that was really worthy of being filmed,” said Taylor Bloom, 21, an acting major.
The short film follows five storylines of students in their college experience. The story involves several aspects of college life, including fraternities, abusive relationships, and blossoming friendships.
Filming began Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Wilkins Lake, near the entrance of Shenandoah’s Winchester campus, and continued through the following weekend at the Feltner Building, a Shenandoah University property in downtown Winchester.
Production is set to finish at the end of the semester, with post-production, distribution, and marketing scheduled to begin in the spring, when there will be a directed study class for students who are interested in working on the project. Once the short film is complete, DiFranco is hoping to screen the final product at the Alamo Drafthouse Theatre in Winchester.