“What are we but a ball of energy in flesh. What says we can’t be a ball of energy outside of flesh?”
Carmen Nedgo – Skyler Gahley
Directed by Cameron Jessup
Starring Skyler Gahley (Carmen Nedgo), Chad Oswald (Torch),
Haley Bertelsen (Butchered Girl), and Sean McGehee (Guy).
I’ve been told in the past by several friends that Torch is their favorite piece of video I’ve worked on. I had never really thought about what I considered my “best work”, nor did I consider most things I would create as “works” to begin with. Before Torch, I would’ve said my favorite creation was the finale episode of The University. But the pieces that made Torch as brilliant as it was, those were what really kick-started my brain into realizing what was possible with creating film.
Torch was an extreme learning experience, the first full shoot on my newly purchased Canon 60d, and also my first time entering the world of horror. I adore horror as a genre. Not so much in its stereotypical sense, but horror in the literal word; having a real, tangible fear. Not gore for the sake of gore, or the goofy villain of the week. That was the ground plan we laid down for Torch from the very beginning, to make a horror film that wasn’t stereotypes reworked.
Anyways, we didn’t actually get to show the full 13 minute version that we ended up with. The contest was limited to a max of 8 minutes at the time (I think? Something around there). Nearly three quarters of the film was missing from the version shown at the festival. We could only fit in the final scene with the drinking montage and on, sadly losing the atmosphere of terror that the full version helps to build.
However, I was able to submit Torch into Central Washington University’s yearly SOURCE event, which is essentially a large gala of students displaying things and ideas they’ve created throughout the year. And this time, I could submit the whole thing.
So when the film ended and the house opened for questions, and I saw every person in the audience raise a hand, I actually got pretty emotional. The judges all seemed impressed, asking me things like, “You’re a theatre major aren’t you?” and “You edited that?” The event ended with them telling me I should consider submitting Torch to other film festivals.
That was one of the best moments of my life.