Western Carolina film students were given a golden opportunity. Some were cast and sixteen were crewmembers for the John Jackman directed film “Wesley.” Based on the life of the co-founder of the Methodist church, the film was a perfect way for students to gain experience.
“I think that this experience ties into a lot of what we learned in all of our classes… I would rate it an A+ experience,” said Tommy Flagerty, who was a grip and an extra for the film. “I would recommend this type of internship to anybody who wanted to major in film production.”
Aaron Putnam, a best boy grip and extra, added, “On this job, I learned the necessary skills to survive on a film set… I learned things that could only be learned through experience, and not in a class.”
The film has not only sparked buzz among film majors, but also with film-loving students. The film is inspired by the life of one man, John Wesley, who evolves from an Anglican priest to a reformist for the growing Methodist church. “Wesley” is set to premiere at the Fine and Performing Arts Center in high definition.
Arledge Armenaki was director of photography for the film. He took some time from his schedule to explain the importance of the “Wesley” project and his job process.
“My main roll is to create the visual image that embodies the director’s vision… It is a multi-step process,” said Armenaki. “Cinematography is where the rubber meets the road. When you are shooting a scene, all the voiced and scripted ideas have to be captured.”
What was your initial reaction that made you want to sign onto this project? When asked what enticed him to take on the project, Armenaki replied, “I was very interested in filming a feature length historical film. It was going to be a huge challenge. We had many major challenges, for instance we had to build a ship, Armenaki explained. “Since the film was made on a tight budget, it allowed the student interns to fill shoes that they would have never been able to try on a big budget fill. Most of our Western students were able to reach and grasp the job skills that were required of them during production.”
The premiere will be followed by a session of questions and answers. Those attending the session are Jackman, WCU alumnus and actor Keith Harris, and retired Catamount professor and actor Terry Nienhuis. All proceeds from the premiere will go towards students’ senior thesis films in the Motion Picture and Television Production Program of Western Carolina.
The special screening will be on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.wcu.edu/fapac or by calling (828) 227-2479. The cost is $10 each or if in a group of fifteen or more, the cost is $5 each. Support the Western Carolina students and everyone who worked on the film by attending the showing of this masterpiece.