REDLANDS: Film student makes debut as director

REDLANDS: Film student makes debut as director

PENNY E. SCHWARTZ/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

Director Trevor Stevens watches his finished short film titled "Glazed and Confused" in Muffin Top Bakery in Redlands, where it was filmed.

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BY PENNY E. SCHWARTZ

CORRESPONDENT 

June 14, 2013; 10:57 AM 

Trevor Stevens of Redlands has known since age 12 that he wanted to be a film director.

Now he will see his recent film school project, shot in Redlands, screened at the upcoming Palm Springs International ShortFest.

“The goal of (showing) a short film is to promote yourself as a director so that you can make a feature film,” said Stevens, 21, a student at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts of Chapman University.

The 19th annual festival runs Tuesday, June 18, through June 24 and screens only the films that have been selected by a film jury. Stevens’ short, titled “Glazed and Confused,” will be shown at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at the Camelot Theatres. Visit www.psfilmfest.org to learn more about the film festival.

Stevens has filmmaking in his blood. His parents own and operate Work and Play Productions, which is producing a video for Redlands' 125th anniversary celebration, with Trevor’s help.

A childhood dancer, dance competitor and actor, he gravitated to filmmaking as a young teen and shot home movies in his back yard. He worked as an intern with Cheryl Williams, Redlands’ multi-media coordinator, where he gained experience behind the camera.

He chose Dodge College, where he will be a senior, because of what he calls its “offbeat and unique program, with faculty and students who share my odd sense of humor.”

“Glazed and Confused” is Stevens' first film as a director. His film production course required three pages of script, two characters and one location, he said. His finished film, which runs about five minutes, deals with two high school friends who meet several years later “in the worst circumstances possible.” One is trying to rob a donut shop where the other is working the night shift.

“It's a crime comedy about the choices people make,” said Stevens.

He cast actors Heston Horwin, a Chapman friend, and Jordan Mosley in the parts.

“I knew they were right because they made me laugh so hard tears came to my eyes,” Stevens said.

He was looking for a run-down donut shop as a film set but eventually decided to use Muffin Top Bakery in downtown Redlands because he hangs out there and had discussed the film many times on the premises. Seeking a darker and grittier look, he covered store logos, scattered cleaning supplies around and imported fatty, greasy-looking donuts, which the bakery does not sell.

“It is actually just the opposite, specializing in gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan baked goods,” Stevens said.

Store owner Tony Shabke said the store looked like a real movie set.

“It was fun watching the filming,” Shabke said. “Trevor is a talented filmmaker and seemed very involved and professional.”

Cinematographer and producer Jackson Miller headed up a crew of about a dozen for the seven-hour shoot in March.

Michael Eaton, one of Stevens' professors at Dodge, said in an email that Stevens is “a talented director with good ideas. (He) had a strong vision for the tone of the film, and by the time we did a read through of the first draft of his script, the whole class could feel the charged energy of the scene.”

The finished short is “an energetic and engaging film that is also quite funny,” Eaton said.

Stevens’ future plans include a project for his advanced film production class and his senior thesis, for which he is seeking investors. Email trevor.stevens127@gmail.com for more information.

“I choose to shoot in Redlands because I love the people and want to repay them for my growing up here,” Stevens said. “The inspirations for many of my stories come from Redlands.”