Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Breaking the Rules: A Film About the Ten Commandments

by Scott Rocher, Caley Thomas, Joe Folladori

With funds from the King Creativity Grant, Scott Rocher and Caley Thomas delve into professional quality guerilla filmmaking, a first for the students in Southwestern’s Independent Filmmaker organization. The two were able to purchase professional quality digital video equipment and lighting, creating a mobile film production unit. The result – a 12 minute short film exploring the Ten Commandments called Ten.

The film follows Aaron, a typical college student who goes off the edge after finding out of his girlfriend’s alleged cheating ways.

“The idea came to me while sitting in my Hebrew Bible course,” said Rocher, a Junior Communication major. “It dawned on me that modern cinema really relies on the breaking of the Ten Commandments for dramatic tension.” After mentioning the idea to roommate Thomas, the two used money from a recently awarded King Grant to purchase necessary sound and lighting equipment needed to create a professional film.

“I instantly connected to the idea of Ten and I felt it was a great first project for our organization,” Thomas, a senior International Studies major, said. Over two years ago, Rocher and Thomas started the Independent Filmmakers club but were hindered by financial woes for almost 10 months. After receiving two King grants and a camera from the admissions office, the club was ready to produce original creative works. Rocher and Thomas, along with their team of film enthusiasts, completed Ten at the end of the Fall semester.

The shoot went smoothly and efficiently. Filming most of the movie at night in the chapel, the small team created the film in just three weeks. “The shoot got pretty rushed at the end because we had to finish it before the last day of class,” Rocher said. “But with everyone’s help, it turned out really well.”

“Lighting was absolutely the most important thing I learned about while shooting this film. It became really clear to me that lighting can convey emotion. Regardless of the type of lighting, it’s essential to every great shot.”

Shooting is in progress on a new film from the organization. Currently untitled, the film follows one student’s journey to find his place in the world, but after a lengthy conversation with God, he finds out he doesn’t have one. The script, written by co-recipient Joe Folladori, will be shot in April.