“One man on the brink of nothing is about to change everything…“
- Tag line for the new science fiction short movie, Cease Fire
A touch of Hollywood’s future visits Denver this Sunday, May 20th, when the Oriental Theater hosts the world premiere of a new science fiction masterpiece, Cease Fire. Doors open at 5:00pm, and the premiere showing will start at 5:30pm.
Cease Fire took nearly three years to reach the big screen, according to student director Jacob Collins. His relentless efforts to adapt one of his favorite short stories to movie form have finally paid off. Now he and the other University of Colorado-Denver film school students on the cast and production crew can sit back and enjoy their creation.
Any film production weaves a tapestry of fund-raising, organization, and logistical on-site details. Step by step, the movie inched closer to completion. Collins began by getting approval to film the story from the estate of renowned science fiction author Frank Herbert. Then he led his student teams through early studio shooting. Next, a successful round of fund-raising on Kickstarter and appeals to several local groups for extras and props allowed the crew to conduct several on-location shoots in Nederland and other locales (like Union Station). Finally, lots of editing, special effects, and other film “magic” put the final touches on the production. It’s a wrap!
The main character in Frank Herbert’s classic short story, a young military Corporal named Larry Hulser, finds himself in the middle of a future war for resources. Stuck at a remote post in the arctic, Hulser ends up changing the very nature of modern warfare. The story strikes a delicate balance between anti-war sentiments and the realities of human nature given the imperfect world where we live.
The student film cast embarked on a goal to capture this delicate balance, a challenge even for a highly experienced film crew. Your Denver Space Industry Examiner watched them battle the elements – unseasonably warm temperatures and winds for an arctic scene – during their on-site shooting in Nederland back on May 7th, 2011.
Meeting some of the actors and watching the action unfold behind the camera gave me a great appreciation for the team’s passion and dedication. A thousand details have to come together – consistently across several takes – for the filmed product to seem real. Ever-changing sun angles kept the grips busy adjusting sun shields to limit shadows on the faces and bodies of the actors. Hour after hour, actors repeated and improved their lines as they moved through a particularly complicated scene, inflecting a word differently here, changing a small gesture there, always under the unforgiving microscope of the director’s eye – and the cameras.
Take note of these hard-working actors and director Jacob Collins. After a successful premiere in Denver this week, some will move on to greater success in the film industry.
We wish them well.