Nebraska Student Film is shaping the future for the industry – The Omaha News
Omaha News

Nebraska Student Film is shaping the future for the industry – The Omaha News

By: Mike Dart, Reporter

OMAHA, Neb- The Omaha Area has increasingly become a hub for student filmmakers. 

The process to produce full feature length movies is difficult to navigate for newcomers to the industry. Metro Community college student Ben Watts began production for his movie The Plague in late October this year and is expected to wrap up filming and editing in March of 2023.

Watts says students are granted unique advantages for filmmaking. 

“A thousand dollars cameras, a thousand dollars lights, so it’s very useful for getting all this stuff for free and then returning it. It’s a free of charge rent it’s really nice and it’s a great resource of a good budget” says Watts.

Production crew of The Plague reviewing footage. Photo courtesy of Montana Walker.  Saturday, Oct. 27th, 2022. 

He claims his budget of $1 thousand can be utilized optimally because he doesn’t need to pay for expensive equipment. 

Watts explains that he is motivated to finish the film because his crew is putting in so much effort. The team of make-up artists make realistic looking visual effects, and the stunt coordinator strives to make each action shot perform well.

Watts met his production crew through different classes at his university and says the best way to connect with others in the industry is to talk to the people in the same circles. 

Joshua lacher co-wrote the script over three weeks. “I would go through it and talk about ideas, and we’d bounce Ideas back and forth off each other,” Says Lacher.

The script ended up being around 90 pages after the first draft and is continually being edited to suit the production. 

Lacher gives some advice to aspiring filmmakers. “Make sure you have a plan B, C, D F, for when plan A doesn’t go right,” he said.

Director Ben Watts showcases one of the props used in his upcoming feature length film The Plague. Wednesday, Nov. 2nd, 2022.

The original main actor for the film had scheduling issues rendering them unable to be available for shooting, which led to Watts having to base the shooting schedule around the new actor brought in. 

Ben expects to premiere his film at the Omaha Film Festival. The festival established itself in 2005 and has since paved the road for aspiring independent filmmakers to showcase their work in front of a massive audience. The festival is expected to return in March of 2023.

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