MIDLAND — With the exception of a few brief cat naps, Dan Belleville didn’t get much sleep last weekend.
From 7 p.m. Friday until midnight on Monday, the Tustin native was managing the production of a 4 to 7 minute film that would be submitted in the Four Points Film Project contest.
Teams from around the country submitted films in the contest, which requires crews to envision, write, record and edit their pieces all within a strict timeframe.
Belleville is a musician who has some experience with contests similar to the Four Points Film Project, including the 48 Hour Film Project. He also composes music for an art show called “Your Brush with Nature‘ that was picked up last year by Amazon Prime.
Teams were assigned genres at random, including western, silent film, period piece, musical, dark comedy, holiday film, action film and family film, to name a few.
On Friday, Belleville’s team was assigned two genres from which they could choose for their project: horror or discrimination.
In a previous phone conversation with the Cadillac News, Belleville expressed some trepidation at the idea of having to film a piece on discrimination or climate change — another highly politicized genre category — but with horror being the alternative option, the decision was easy to make.
“We picked horror but it’s more of a psychological thriller/phobia movie,‘ Belleville told the Cadillac News in the midst of filming last week. “The script is still a little rough but has better possibilities compared to a horror movie where everyone is just bleeding to death.‘
The film also had to have a specific line of dialogue, characters and props. In their case, they had to have characters named Leon or Lorena Hamil; a nurse; a line of dialogue asking “What’s that noise?‘ or “What is that noise?‘ and a lint roller as a prop.
Helping Belleville as actors on this project were several folks from this area: they included Cadillac residents Lacey McMahon and Elizabeth Pechota, and Evart resident John Joyce.
Belleville’s role in creating the film was producer and music composer. Working with Belleville was a crew of 14 people, including the actors, camera operators, a director, microphone handlers, assistants and scriptwriters.
On Monday, Belleville said he was happy with the fruits of their labors — a macabre short cryptically titled “Twisted Vines.‘
“They all did great,‘ Belleville said about the actors and the rest of the crew. “I tried to make this watchable to most folks. It’s still a horror movie but it was way more ’Psycho’ yesterday. It’s fun to see pieces put together when they actually work.‘
The film won’t be available for the public to view until after they receive feedback from the Four Points Film Project judging team sometime in December.