An aging rock star, after having left town following the death of his son, returns three years later to reconnect potentially with his estranged wife and others.
That’s the idea behind a feature film, titled “Hellcat,” being produced and directed by Jack Lugar, professor of cinema and media arts at AU.
Lugar started shooting the film this past summer. He found his cast close to home in many ways.
The cast and crew included his two sons, daughter, daughter-in-law and son-in-law. His wife, Elisabeth, is the executive producer.
He also involved Anderson “family” as well: AU alumni Julia Barnett, Ed Fry, Jon Williams, Roger Gibson and Hannah Gross. Williams and Gibson are 2022 AU grads, while Gross is a senior at AU.
Barnett and Fry co-star in the film, while Williams was director of photography, Gibson was the sound operator, and Gross helped with the camera.
Lugar said, “I have never done a feature film on this level, where I spearheaded it from beginning to end.”
When the filming started, said Lugar, it was purely “guerilla style, fast-paced capture shots, and keep moving.”
When asked how the making of this film would help him in the classroom, Lugar said the answer was simple. “Professional development, different techniques—and I told my students, ‘If you want to be a director, here is what you have to do,” said Lugar. “So, a lot of the things that I learned or remembered, I’ll be taking into the classroom this spring—especially when I have a class called Field and Postproduction.”
Now in the stage of editing his film, Lugar said he is “making and building a puzzle.”
With editing come a lot of challenges. When things don’t come out the way you expect or the crew misses something, it is back to the drawing board, he explained.
“If something didn’t come out like I wanted it to, it can get frustrating,” he noted. It is always a “solve the problem” kind of day when editing.
Lugar said he has fun with his editing, and he embraces the creative, logical challenges that come with the editing process.
He said he hopes to have the film finished in the spring of 2023.