Support your local filmmaker

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, July 13, 2013

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You wouldn’t know it from my unsophisticated taste in movies – terribly cheesy, brainless chick-flicks are my guilty pleasure – but film and digital media (FDM) was my minor in college.

Erika Pedroza

Erika Pedroza

I’ve never touted myself as any type of movie guru. I can’t intellectually dissect the making of a movie or even the substance of its plot. I judge movies based on their transparency and how I relate to them, be it to laugh, sigh or cry.

To be honest, after being accepted into an internship-based, semester-long program in New York for FDM students while I was in college, I just thought the added accreditation to my journalism major would look good on the old resume.

Before then, I never really stepped back to think of the continuity of shots, the lighting set-up and the meticulous editing involved. But after a couple of courses on the sight, sound and motion of filmmaking – and after dipping my toes into Final Cut Pro post-editing software – I grew a greater appreciation for all that goes into that art.

Maybe it’s the storytelling element of filmmaking that caught my attention. However, the courses also solidified my belief that the published, written word is undoubtedly my primary method of expression.

My lack of talent in filmmaking fueled an even greater admiration for those with a keen eye for spotting locations, a knack for post-production techniques and those brimming with ideas for writing material that can easily be translated onto film.

People, I thought, who are sought-after in New York and Los Angeles, maybe even Austin, but hardly anywhere else.

This week I learned there’s an exception in Runaway Bay.

Rachel Shepherd, a two-year resident of the quiet Wise County town, and a crew of about 20 spent most of the last couple of weeks filming a feature film written and directed by her, at various area sites. (Read more in this Messenger.) Although the filming is complete, funding to get “About Mom and Dad” produced and into theaters is still needed.

As I visited with the enthusiastic 32-year-old filmmaker and some of her crew, I was flooded with nostalgia. Their passion reminded me of some of my college classmates – classmates I had envisioned taking their talents to California or New York.

It wasn’t that visiting with Shepherd negated my faulty assumption. It simply opened my eyes to the presence of talent everywhere – not just hubs like Hollywood and New York.

Shepherd is a huge proponent of the Texas film industry. Her work features as much local talent as possible and focuses on area sites and themes, outsourcing only as a last option.

And her work exemplifies the high caliber of talent found not just in the state, but also right here in Wise County.

Just as Shepherd supports those in her proximity, I encourage you to support a local gal in her meritable endeavors.

Contact Shepherd at 817-287-1261 or rachel_gibsonshepherd@yahoo.com.

Erika Pedroza is a reporter for the Wise County Messenger.

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