July 10, 2020

Student horror film wins awards

“Into Focus,” a short film created by several current and former students, has been entered into multiple film festivals and won several awards since its debut screening last November at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus.

According to Wes Murray, senior film and media production major as well as director of photography and executive producer for the film, “Into Focus” was created as a part of the Mid Ohio Filmmakers Association’s  (MOFA) “3 Weeks of Terror” competition.

Teams participating in the competition were given a prop, a genre, a line of dialogue and three weeks to produce a short film of ten minutes or less. “Into Focus” clocks in at six minutes and 13 seconds, including credits.

Murray didn’t want to give too much away about the film’s plot, but he said that “Into Focus” is about a father who is being interviewed about his missing daughter. As the interview progresses, the audience is shown clips of what happened to the daughter, and it is slowly revealed why she has been missing for so long.

“Into Focus” won Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actress at the MOFA “3 Weeks of Terror” competition, and also won Best Horror Film of March from the Top Shorts Film Festival.

Photo courtesy of Zach Hoover


The short film has also been entered into a slew of other film festivals, including the Los Angeles Film Awards, Festigious Los Angeles, the New York Film Awards, Show Us Your Shorts, and the Pittsburgh Horror Film Festival.

As executive producer, Murray spent the month before the competition getting all of the film’s pre-production work in order. This included finding shooting locations, actors, sample footage, storyboards, and buying props.

“It’s so important to do pre-production stuff, before you do any other work,” Murray said.

However, Murray wasn’t alone in his preparations for the competition.

“Zach Hoover, a Capital University alumnus, he wrote and directed [Into Focus] and he helped me produce a lot, along with Ricky Bayness and Jeremy Beech,” Murray said. “We had sort of a Capital crew heading up the production team.”

As director of photography, Murray worked closely with Hoover to create the overall image of the film and ensured Hoover’s vision as writer/director was translated into the final product. Murray was responsible for setting up and working the camera during filming and directing lighting on set.

“Into Focus” has an upcoming showing in Columbus as part of the Show Us Your Shorts film festival at the Gateway Film Center on April 6.

The trailer for “Into Focus” can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lmc2ksForY.

More information on “Into Focus” can be found here.

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