Lights, camera, action

Magic and witchcraft might not be on everyone’s mind now that Halloween is over, but Tuesday night, students could see real magic happen at Longleaf Studios. People weren’t casting spells or riding around on broomsticks. Instead, they were bringing the creative film process to life—and it was enchanting.

The JSU Film Club shot their first film of the semester from the comfort of Jacksonville.

The project was a first person film where audiences could witness firsthand what it’s like to do the job of a director in a studio on a film set. It showed the process of creating a film from the chaotic and fun perspective of the director.

Although the process became somewhat repetitive after running the same shot twelve times, it was necessary for absolute artistic perfection. There are many factors that contributed to ensuring this project went as smoothly as possible.

Megan Wise, a sophomore at JSU and the resident the wardrobe and makeup artist for this particular shoot, took an actress with beauty pageant potential and transformed her into Freddy Krueger’s stunt-double.

“You get your hands dirty, but it really is fun,” Wise said while putting the finishing touches on a makeup masterpiece. “Especially come Halloween time, I think people enjoy being turned into a monster or another person for a night.”

Brenton Cunningham, a senior here at JSU, was an actor in the short film portraying a producer giving his approval on the filming process. As a film student, he has seen the fruits and labors behind most of positions of the film crew.

“It’s like the circus and the army had a baby. There’s a lot of organization, but at the same time, there’s a lot of being on your own and doing your own thing,” Cunningham remarked.

Both Wise and Cunningham have participated in the film courses offered here at JSU.

Artist-in-residence Jeffrey Nichols is the instructor of all things film at JSU.

In regards to Jacksonville, Nichols said that the university “needed this type of entertainment, this type of value. Students are hungry for it in the area. Louisiana, Atlanta, North Carolina, South Carolina—they have their fruits. Now, I’m here to plant fruit and I want to see it prosper. I want to see people grow.”

One student who has grown under the guidance of Nichols is Alex McFry, the director of this promotional video. McFry, along with the club’s president, Aaron Bryant, and several others are some of the founding members of this group.

“I left leaving accomplished and refreshed. I want everybody to get a taste of that feeling when they work on our projects,” McFry said to others who might be on the fence about getting involved.

In regards to the creative ideas behind this project, McFry says, “I wanted to show audiences what it was like to be a part of the film club. Essentially, that’s what this promo does. It shows you how the Film Club operates when it’s in ‘project mode.’”

The magic that the JSU Film Club creates might not be so literal, but it is worth being a part of. For more information about the JSU Film Club, contact Aaron Bryant at and follow all the group’s events on Facebook.

Paris Coleman
Staff Writer

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