The Film Production II class is currently working on a short film “Scent,” which portrays the life of the Holocaust survivor Saul Weitz, an elderly blind man searching for revenge and evidence of vampires.
It’s a supernaturally-driven film that still holds firm to the roots of reality. The protagonist, Weitz, discovers vampires during the holocaust and 60 years later, he is determined to use the vampires to his advantage and take retribution against the Nazis.
“He’s blind and develops a heightened sense of smell, it’s what we use to turn the story in a different direction,” Miles said.
The film is directed by Steve Miles, 42, film major. Miles has always been interested in film. He began with a Super 8 camera as a child. He wanted to be an actor but decided to take film classes instead.
“The film is two ideas combined, there’s a real idea mixed with an unreal idea,” Miles said.
The film is not only live footage, but will have animation of the protagonist when he has flashbacks to the holocaust.
“The animation will only be about three minutes,” Miles said.
The film is around 20 minutes long, including the animation.
The production will be filmed at Saddleback and an off-campus location. The co-producer, Ariel Savage, a graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz, helps plan, get locations and permits.
“For this film we’re going to various places that are significant to the storyline,” Savage said. “We have to go to a restaurant, but it has to look like it’s in South America.”
The film is supposed to take place at locations like the South American restaurant, also an elevator in a hospital. It also includes flashbacks to the Holocaust. The restaurant is supposed to be in Argentina and is the closing scene of the film.
“We talk to the owners and we get their permission, and then we usually have to go through the city to get permits and insurance,” Savage said on finding a restaurant location to film.
Josh Landa, 24, film major, is the assistant director of the film and decided to join the production after reading the script.
“The script has been going around for awhile, it’s something that I’ve always heard about being in the process of being made,” Landa said. “Luckily I got a chance to read the script and really fell in love with it.”
The film is not your typical revenge story, mainly because the hero is not traditional. He is close to 80 years old and blind. He overcomes a lot to reach his target of vengeance.
“I’m Jewish myself and my grandfather was actually a Holocaust survivor, and that’s part of why I love the story so much,” Landa said, “It’s creating this new character.”
They hope to complete the film before summer and to send it into as many film festivals as possible.
“In June, we will be showing our films in Student Services,” Miles said. “We don’t do a lot of advertising for that, but it’s for the public.” Miles said.
Steve Miles and the group of Saddleback student filmmakers can be found on the website http://www.ScentFilm.com which explains in detail about their film.