Lauren Keller started blazing with ideas for a movie script while sitting in her childhood bedroom in 2019 after finishing her first semester at Point Park University.
Three pages later, Keller had one of the first drafts of the movie A Little Glass of Rum…his wife and son. Three years later, Aylor meets Kenneth, the man who killed his family before his execution.
The film will come to life when it premieres at WQED’s ‘Filmmaker’s Corner’ on Saturday at 10pm.
Keller said she didn’t expect to see one of her films on TV until later in her career.
“I am very excited,” she said.
Keller, a 23-year-old Hempfield resident who graduated from Point Park in April, got the idea for the film during his sophomore year after watching a video about death row inmates’ last meals. prisoner.
She kept the script throughout her college career, returning to ideas while working on senior projects.
“It’s interesting to me what Execution Day will look like. It’s the last day to eat anything, drink anything, breathe. I just thought it was an interesting topic,” said Keller.
Security guard Aylor meets with the killer Kenneth while they are having their last meal. As the two talk, the viewer realizes they are brothers.
They delve into their childhoods and discuss their abusive fathers. “The killer obviously took it one way and the prison guards took it another way, but at the end of the movie, as a whole, they’re still relevant and even the prison guards In some ways, it changes for the worse.”
In addition to writing the film, Keller was the project’s producer and director of photography, and directed post-production.
Keller united with a group of people he had worked with on his senior thesis film and put out a casting call for the actor.
“A lot of people were interested in it. We auditioned for 10 hours over a few days,” she said. “People were so excited. When I saw their audition, they got a deal and they were very excited to be on board. They gave us college students a chance. But it obviously worked.”
Filming took them to locations throughout the region, including some in Pittsburgh and Hempfield.
One scene was shot at an old food service building owned by the Hempfield Area School District on Route 136. Prison scenes were filmed at the West Virginia Prison in Moundsville.
After submitting a 12-minute film for an advanced class, one of Keller’s professors decided to contact WQED to see if they would air an extended cut of the film.
“(WQED) contacted me and was like, ‘We’d like to feature this in Filmmaker’s Corner, do you mind?’ I’m going back and forth and just trying to get everything in order, and here I am, and it’s going to screen… I’m so excited.
Point Park’s Professor of Film Arts Andrew Halas and Frederick Johnson praised Keller’s film and its premiere.
“This is a script Lauren wrote in one of her early scripting classes,” said Halas. “She continued to develop it throughout her time in the Motion Picture Arts department. It was amazing to see how she nurtured the story she wanted to tell. An effective thesis film is complete.”
“Lauren had a very clear vision for the film from the beginning. There were many challenges during production, but she persevered and brought the vision to the screen with a perfect realization,” Johnson said. said.
For Keller, Saturday’s screening is likely just the beginning of her film career.
“I’m really into it and really excited to pour my passion into my career,” Keller said.
Megan Tomasic is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. Megan can be reached via email at email@example.com or on her Twitter. .