A film featuring local talent will premiere at a community event on Saturday, September 25.
Fatt Sunnie Studios’ newest thriller, “Mirror of Lies”, will premiere at the Cox Activities Center at Northeast Community College with a duration of 31 minutes and a PG rating. The film follows protagonist Chase (played by Tom Howell) as he flees the mistakes of his past and confronts the skeletons in his closet. The moral of the story is that “sometimes the highlights we see in the mirror aren’t what we want to see,” said studio owner and director Benjamin Viergutz.
The film was a collaboration between the whole team. Although Viergutz led, he took suggestions from all of his crew. Together, they voted on ideas presented in concept meetings and openly discussed different points of view.
“In the end it was my decision, but everyone is looking at it from a different point of view,” Viergutz said. “If you get very high and powerful, like ‘I am the director’, you lose a lot of ideas.”
Even with a full entry, the process was not easy. The studio wrote and cast a completely different movie before dropping it and focusing on “Mirror of Lies”. Despite this, Viergutz, a native of Norfolk, knew he wanted to stay in the state due to the variety of places Nebraska has to offer.
“I think Nebraska has a certain versatility,” he said, “because if you think of Omaha and Lincoln, you have your town, your little towns. … (We have) plains, fields of corn and water. It’s a great place to be able to shoot. “
The film was a “community effort,” he said. It was shot primarily in Norfolk, although the main house is in the Battle Creek area. The cast and crew are mostly natives of Norfolk, with cast recruited from high schools at Northeast Community College and the Norfolk area – pretty much “anyone who was willing to act”.
Due to the change of plans, time was limited for pre- and post-production. The crew wrote, cast and shot the film in 2.5 weeks, blazingly fast even for a short film. The assembly lasted a month, carried out by Viergutz in his basement.
In addition to post-production directing and editing, he has worked as a cinematographer, audio mixer, music producer, visual effects artist, sheet music composer and many other jobs; “Basically everything that the other cast and crew didn’t do,” he said.
Another issue was the budget. Fatt Sunnie Studios owns all the equipment and most of the locations have agreed to be sponsors, which helps keep production costs down. Entrance to the event is free, although free will donations are welcome.
“We would like this to continue, but we cannot do it without support,” Viergutz said.
Another way to support the film is to complete the review sheets provided at the end. Viergutz is eager to hear customer feedback.
“I hope they appreciate it for what it is,” he said. “This is the best film I have produced to date.”
He pointed out that the film is defined as a thriller, so according to the PG rating, parents should exercise discretion if they choose to bring their children. It won’t be “a happy, super kid-friendly moment,” he warned, adding that guests will be “on the edge of their seats” throughout the evening.
When the doors open at 7 p.m. and the film begins at 7:30 p.m., Viergutz hopes attendees can leave not only after seeing a quality film, but with renewed pride in their region’s artistic endeavors.
“I hope they enjoy the film,” he said. “I hope they’re absorbed by the plot and that it captures their attention for the duration of the movie, and I hope they’re proud of what Norfolk and the rest of Northeast Nebraska are trying to do. to do.”