High Desert Film Club features local creatives

High Desert Film Club features local creativesBY LAURA QUEZADA

A casting call went out recently looking for actors and extras of all ages for a horror comedy short film. This was the first open call for the High Desert Film Club, a new non-profit organization made of artists using their talents to give back to the community.

Nick Wakley, owner of Raw Media Productions, tells us, “We really appreciate what the community has done for us and we have been able to grow because of the community. It is not just our abilities that made it possible, it was the reception that we got.”

Raw Media Production’s work can be seen throughout Ridgecrest in businesses with promotional videos, display photos and in commercials at Ridgecrest Cinemas.

Wakley and his partner, co-owner Paul Sutton, noticed, “Ridgecrest is unique in that it has a small population but it is condensed with creatives. There are a ton of photographers, a ton of people that are part of the arts. We found three special effects artists now. There are a lot of fun things we can do because of the talent we have acquired. One the people we have recently come in contact with was Manuel Ruiz. He is part of the film commission in Lone Pine. He has always been interested in writing and scripting, so he writes our scripts. We asked him to direct our film because he has lots of experience on an actual Hollywood set.”

Wakley adds, “We didn’t start this for our own purposes. We could have used Raw Media Productions if we wanted to keep it in-house. We wanted to start something that we could share with Ridgecrest and the high desert area. In the future, after COVID, we plan on teaching kids how to use special effects and some basic stuff. Maybe provide a camp where they can come and check out what is a camera and how do you film a commercial. That is the future, right now we are still practicing being together as a team.”

Filming begins in March with a cast ranging in ages from 10 to 54. Wakley says, “We have created our first short film called ‘Ridgecrest Horror Short.’ It is probably going to be 5 minutes long and it is testing all of our skill sets for the first time with a full cast. We did a casting process, we have a bunch of people in the community who volunteered to be actors and zombies for us. REALMS Charter School offered their building so we can shoot at that location.”

The film will be distributed online.

We hope that the community loves it and they share it with friends and family. This is more of a test short film. It is our first one. So really we are just hoping to get more community engagement than anything.”

For creative people interested in becoming involved in future projects, Wakley extends a welcome: “Send us a head shot. Maybe a short reel of anything you have ever done. And if you haven’t done anything send us a video of you doing your favorite lines of your favorite movie.”

Submissions can be sent to James@rawmediapro.com.

A location shoot was scheduled late last year to test the special effects make-up process, but it spontaneously expanded into producing a short short film.

“We wanted to know what the actor feels like when it gets put on. Do they get claustrophobic? Are they allergic to it on their skin? All these tests we needed to run. We were only planning to put on the make up and get a few test shots done, but we ended up telling a very short short story. It was fun. James Barnabas had no idea he was going to act. I asked him on the spot,” laughs Wakley.

“Ridgecrest Horror test short” (PG-13) (2:05) can be seen on the Raw Media Pro Facebook video page.

Pictured: Manuel Ruiz and Paul Sutton on set at a RAW Media Productions & HDFC zombie test shoot. — Photo by Brian Bartels of Visital.

Story First Published: 2021-02-12