Rachel Maragnano, a KSC senior and film production major, has been working on something quite incredible for almost a year. Her film is in the style of a black and white Frankenstein movie and was originally shot for her 16mm productions class. It is nearly finished and ready to be viewed by an audience. The film is about a man who tries to bring his dead girlfriend back to life through a doll. It has a sort of mad-scientist feel to it, and plays to the song “Feels Like Summer” by Weezer, which Maragnano believes gives the right effect to her film: “The lyrics in it have a way that it could tie to that Frankenstein idea.” There is a even a Jacob’s Ladder (which is a light that sparks up) featured in the film, that was built using a car battery. “It added to that cheesy horror aesthetic that we were going for,” says Maragnano.
After studying abroad, Maragnano began the filming process, which she described as, “A lot of trial and error.” The process began with the inspiration and idea for her film, followed by pre-production, filming and post production editing, all of which were long processes that required a lot of thought and work. “I’m in the process of digitally transferring it now through a company,” she says. “I can’t wait to finish it, because it’s been so long.”
Maragnano also acted in the film alongside Aleksander Balsewicz, a KSC senior and film major with a dual focus in film production and critical studies. Balsewicz also helped edit the film, mostly working on special effects and working relatively closely with Maragnano. “I’ve known Rachel for about a year,” he says. “We worked on one of my films in the past. We’ve gotten to know each other very well, along with each other’s work ethic. We just found that we kind of clicked — we kind of filled the gap in each other’s weaknesses. She’s really fun to work with.”
The editing process also took a lot of time and commitment. After shooting, the film gets sent to a lab to be processed and scanned into a digital film. “In the film department here, we’re fortunate to work with physical film. It’s celluloid — it’s plastic — we bathe it in some chemicals to process it, which is different to what most people are used to.”
The process may have been long, but for Maragnano and Balsewicz, it was worth it. There was a lot of time and passion that went into this four minute film.
“It’s my project that I have continued to do — I thought of it last summer. It’s been a mix between a passion project and a class project,” says Maragnano.
The film will be premiering at Music Video Night this Thursday, Nov. 1 in the Night Owl Café.
Ted White was not availdable for an interview.
Veronica Pamphile can be contacted at