In the first episode of The Cinephile, I interviewed UNC-Chapel Hill junior Alvaro Hernandez, who wants you to know that no cats were harmed in the making of his new student film, Systemic Shock.
The film tells the story of a mysterious man, recently injured, who unwittingly stumbles into a book shop. Familiar to the book shop owner, but not to himself, the man fumbles through the store until he finds a book that might hold the key to unlocking his past.
Michels met Hernandez and co-director Steven Zuegner at The Bookshop on Franklin Street to help shoot the last scenes of the film. Hernandez prefers filming on location, but he said it requires a bit more flexibility and patience than filming on a set. The store’s lighting and its two cats forced Hernandez to constantly readjust his camera.
But he knows that learning is all a part of being a student filmmaker. Hernandez said it’s okay to use bold storytelling techniques and ambitious camera angles. And because he’s a student, he said it’s even okay to fail at all of these things.