SMU film students shooting to leave a ‘Legacy’ in 2014/15

By Jamie Buchsbaum


SMU film students began pre-production of feature film “Legacy,” a psychological thriller set to be released May 2015.

“Producing a film is like one big obstacle course with the absolute best prize at the end,” first-time feature film Director Rachel Wilson said.

For the past several months, director/producer duo Rachel Wilson, senior, and Geenah Krisht, junior, have been hard at work for the production of their up-and-coming feature film, “Legacy.” Filming is scheduled to begin May 19 and will last only two weeks.

The film is meant to be a psychological thriller about Mary, a girl just out of college who returns home right as her mother is being released from prison. The film will uncover the legacy that Mary left behind in her hometown, as well as touching on themes like relationships and the accuracy of memory. There is a shocking plot twist the duo was reluctant to disclose; fans will just have to wait and see for themselves.

“Everybody thinks that film is just point and shoot, and it’s absolutely not,”
Wilson said.

One of the jobs as director and producer is to scout-out locations for when they begin filming, which is what Wilson and Krisht have been doing for the past couple weeks. Casting Director Amanda Presmyk along with Wilson and Krisht will be casting actors for the film at the end of March, which will include SMU students as well as professional actors in the Dallas area.

Wilson and Krisht agreed that this is definitely the biggest project either of them has ever worked on. What started out as a small film-making opportunity has evolved into a mass production, and the two are certainly not giving up—neither are the other students who are a part of the crew; including their editor, SMU junior Jackson McMartin.

“It’s just a really unique experience for college students to have to actually be able to make a full-length feature film,” McMartin said.

However, with 15-plus college students working together to achieve the same goal, there are bound to be some challenges along the way.

“You really have to learn to work with a lot of clashing personalities,” Krisht said. “But we work through it and have totally learned to move
past it.”

So far, the only other challenge they’ve faced is fundraising their goal of $30,000 on their Indiegogo site. They hope that with being aggressive on social media and offering perks to each person for his or her donation, they’ll be able to reach that amount within the next few weeks.

Adversity clearly has been no match to the production crew’s passion and dedication. In fact, it’s what made Wilson and Krisht want to work even harder.

“It went from something just for experience, to something we’re actually really passionate about,” Wilson said. “Now we just want to prove that we can do it.”

Growing up, Wilson always loved watching movies even on hot summer days and knew that she would go into
film-making someday.

Krisht on the other hand came into her first year at SMU majoring in journalism with hopes of becoming pre-med. After taking one introductory film class, she fell in love and instantly added film and media arts as her second major. Although coming from different backgrounds, one thing’s certain now that the two share an undying passion for film-making.

Krisht, from Little Rock, Ark., is currently double majoring in film and media arts and journalism. Along with being the vice president of production for Student Filmmakers Association (SFA), Krisht is also president of Program Council, and is associate producer at Dreamfly Productions for “Inside the Huddle,” a weekly-televised talk show with the Dallas Cowboys. When asked what she wants out of this experience, Krisht replied: “I hope we [Meadows film school] can make a name for ourselves on this campus.”

Wilson, from Tulsa, Okla., is also majoring in film and media arts and will graduate from SMU in May of 2014. She plans to work in Los Angeles after assisting with the post-production of “Legacy.” On campus, Wilson is also involved in SFA, Engaged Learning and has starred in two student
theatre productions.

“If you can make it to the end [of the obstacle course] alive, you’ve made a movie,”
Wilson said.

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