A star is born in the Northside basement


Staff Writer

This July, five friends in the IU South Bend theatre program created the student film “The Prey.” The film was shot in the scene shop located in the basement of IUSB’s Northside Hall. Daniel Blevins, the director, producer, editor and camera operator, said he assembled a cast from four of his friends already interested in Blevins’ film ideas. The four actors, Tristan Conner, Kala Erickson, Jordyn Nutting and Marlon Burnley, relay the story of “two sisters being held against their will in a dirty workshop,” as Blevins said.

This film, the third that Blevins has created, is posted on YouTube under the title: “The Prey (A Short Film by Daniel Blevins)”. Blevins explained that “The Prey” was actually an idea taken from an earlier film of his which did not work out. This made casting simple because, “three of the four actors were already going to be involved with the first project,” Blevins said.

Jordyn Nutting (left), Tristan Conner, and Kala Erickson (right) while filming “The Prey”.  Photo credit/still-shot from the video:

Jordyn Nutting (left), Tristan Conner, and Kala Erickson (right) while filming “The Prey”.
Photo credit/still-shot from the video:

“I was in an independent film in Goshen a while ago,” Nutting said. Speaking on her commercial acting she continued, “I did one for a soda shop that’s local and one for United Way.”

Conner also has acted in films in the past.

“I did one called ‘Martini Mom and Devil Spawn’,” Conner said of the Deviant Studios production.

While all of the actors hope to continue their acting careers, Erickson is inching closer to that goal.

“I actually have a meeting with an agency on September 18,” said Erickson. “Hopefully that will go somewhere- help get me out there.”

Each of these filmmaking careers started, however, from a love of movies.

“From the time I was ten, me, my uncle and my cousin made these little home videos,” said Blevins.

Similarly, Erickson related her introduction to film.

“When I was little, we didn’t have cable so my mom bought us tons of movies,” she said.

The four actors share the passion of filmmaking along with the experience.

“I like the intimacy and how close we get to act,” Conner said.

This intimacy, Nutting continued, is different than acting for theatre productions because in theatre you have to over-exaggerate your emotions to get them across.

“I love that aspect of getting to walk in someone else’s shoes,” Erickson said.

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