Taking a series of disjointed elements and cultivating them into a script would be a daunting prospect for most students. However, freshman Connor Verity managed not only to create a cohesive film, but to also garner acclaim at the Boise Student International Video Festival (BoVi), a student film competition hosted at Boise State University.
His film, “Infiltration,” won the award for Best Narrative in the middle school and high school age category. “Infiltration,” which focuses on an international spy’s efforts to retrieve a top secret dossier, was the product of a single spark of inspiration, in this case, a visit at a local rummage sale.
“I found this briefcase, and I thought, ‘This would be perfect for a video,’ so I bought it,” Connor said. “The only problem was that I had no idea what video I would use it for.”
Connor initially planned on using the briefcase in a car-chase film, but the logistics and financial implications of such a film persuaded him to instead come up with a rough plot line that would later become “Infiltration.”
“I realized that there was no way I could pull that off, or even fund it,” Connor said.
However, after his early script was not received in a fully positive light by his family and friends, Connor added a comical, unpredictable twist to close the film.
“They thought it was a dull idea and too serious.” Connor said. “So I gave it a twist.”
This twist, while completely unexpected, left some viewers slightly confused. However, it was well received by the panel of judges.
“I was extremely nervous about that,” Connor said. “But luckily [the judges] understood the ending.”
Connor described the writing and filming process as “painful” and “time-consuming.” Part of this was the process of finding potential actors to bring his script to life. At first, Connor posted information for auditions on Facebook. However, when he did not receive any responses, Connor decided to ask around campus in order to find the actors he needed.
The filming process was not much easier, and Connor had to grapple with logistical difficulties, such as procuring a set and filming equipment, as well as constant straying off the script. The latter, however, turned out to not be a significant issue.
“The funny thing is that [the actors] didn’t even use the script during the film shoot,” Connor said. “It just ended up providing the basic framework for the film.”
Even though filming didn’t go as planned, Connor still pressed onwards, spending close to forty hours editing footage, adding sounds, special effects and correcting color and other errors. According to Connor, the editing was the most time-consuming part of the process.
With his film complete, Connor submitted it to the BoVi student film festival, which he had first heard of through a Youtube channel on filmmaking. After Connor learned that his film had been selected to be previewed at the festival itself, he traveled to Boise State University, the site of the festival.
During the previewing, Connor was uncertain of how the audience would react, especially to the ending. After a brief questions and answers section, Connor was surprised to learn that his film had been selected as the Best Narrative Film for the middle and high school age category. At first, Connor was taken aback, but the magnitude of the event quickly sunk in.
“I was feeling like all of this hard work was finally paying off,” Connor said. “I have to give a shout out to my awesome cast and crew. … Maybe now that my film won an award, people will show up to my next audition.”