SJC film class produces creepy new TV series


Photo credit: Jessica Warren

From left: students Jeremy Knight, Shaaheen Karabi and Tracy Gorman set up to film ‘Room at the End of the Hall.’

“Room at the end of the Hall” is the title of the eerie original TV show being produced by the students of the Television Production I at San Jacinto College Central Campus during the fall semester.

The show, which will be posted on YouTube, takes place in a cheap motel room where mystical events take place, Lead Filmmaking Instructor William MacTavish said. Over the course of the semester, the students will shoot approximately eight episodes, seven to 12 minutes in length. During the filming process, they will participate in new learning activities.

“All around, common production skills that exist in the industry is what we’re trying to achieve in this lab,” MacTavish said.

Upcoming episodes will feature murders and other incidents, MacTavish said.

“The first episode, the one we are filming today,” he said, “kind of alludes to the idea of time travel. The main character, who has written a journal, keeps talking about showing up in this room, and he is being chased by these guys, and it kind of lets fate just play itself out.”

The Writing for Electronic Media class wrote the scripts for the first four episodes during the summer semester while the Fall 2013 class is writing the scripts for the upcoming episodes, MacTavish said.

Shaaheen Karabi, a student in both the summer writing course and the current TV Production I class, said he wrote a script for the show and hopes it is chosen for shooting.

Casting will take place two episodes at a time, and auditions are open to both San Jac Theatre students and the public.

Ramon Cordona, a film major, plays one of the central characters in the first episode that writes about his emanate death and what is coming in the future.

“I wanted to take acting to become a better director,” Cordona said.

The course offers students the opportunity to take on many roles during filming such as camera operator, floor manager, set manager, control room operator, editing, audio recording, production assistants, board editors and many other tasks, MacTavish said.

“The idea is that they learn the production skills necessary that are common for all productions of camera operation and set up; working in a multi-camera environment for this TV show and on-set etiquette that is necessary for a group with two or more cameras filming the same action by actors at the same time,” MacTavish said.

The students’ excitement is evident in the work they perform every day including setting up, filming, taking it all down, and doing it again the next time they meet, film student Paulette Vargas said.

“It’s been cool,” she said, “to see it all come together.”