Carmel Valley: Canyon Crest student’s film to be shown at festivals
By Jill Lin
Canyon Crest student Hunter Peterson lives in a world of zombies and mutated humans. Or at least his characters do, in his film “The NorthGuard Project.”
A product of Hunter’s love for the science fiction world, “The NorthGuard Project” is actually the name of a project within the film that goes horribly wrong. The story tells of a big, faceless corporation called Diamond Pharmaceuticals that tries to save lives by rewriting human DNA codes with a “genetic eraser.” However, unanticipated side effects of the operations end up turning humans into something altogether un-human.
The original idea of “The NorthGuard Project” didn’t come from a single idea, but rather developed naturally out of Hunter’s interest in zombie movies, such as “28 Days Later” and “Resident Evil.” However, it wasn’t until Canyon Crest Academy’s cinema conservatory agreed and chose “The NorthGuard Project” to be made that Hunter was able to start film production. Along with a team of people that included cinematographer Alex Mueller, producer Jason Segal, VFX Richard Liu, and Assistant Director Kush Rawal, Hunter was able to finally realize a four-year-long dream and goal.
However, problems for the film were numerous and it was only through the tireless dedication of the entire crew that filming was able to continue. As the director of the film, Hunter faced problems such as actors quitting halfway through production and having to find proper locations. Sometimes, the crew even needed to “run-and-gun” the film, a process in which they literally had to speedily shoot for 10 minutes before leaving without anyone noticing.
Despite the various issues, Hunter credits his passion for filmmaking as one of his constant sources of motivation. Inspired from a youtube channel he found years ago called “IndyMogul,” Hunter found himself hooked on the process of how to specialize in camera work. Since then, he has gone on to explore more on the Internet in order to improve his own filmmaking and has credited famous directors such as Darren Aronofsky of “Black Swan” fame and Quentin Tarantino as personal favorites.
Aside from those well-known directors, Hunter also mentions how people like his friends and Canyon Crest Academy film teacher Mark Raines are sources of inspiration.
When asked which words of advice he would give to fellow aspiring filmmakers, Hunter says that the most important thing is to “Get out there with some friends. Tell a story with a home camcorder. You have the potential, so go out there and show it!”
“The NorthGuard Project” has been planned to be screened at the Canyon Crest Academy film festival, as well as many others in the county and state. For more information and examples of Hunter’s work, visit his youtube channel at youtube.com/studio595.
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