Professor Produces New Film Featuring Students

Prof. James Barnes is the producer of the film “Hiding Places” which is set to premiere at the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre today, March 13 at 7 p.m.

Barnes worked with his brother, Brad Barnes, who wrote and directed this film. It features students from Sacred Heart who were a part of this process as well as alumni from the University of Southern California (USC). “Brad had the idea of working with his former students from USC. It was an opportunity for young filmmakers to take higher positions on the crew while saving on production costs. Once I heard that, I wanted to get SHU students involved,” Barnes said. “My Acting for the Camera class was perfect. It allowed me to workshop the script while we were in pre-production.”
Altogether, production took around four years and required Barnes to work remotely because the filming took place in Altadena, Calif.

The film is about a couple who is struggling with their marriage and they find out that their daughter found someone hiding from the police in their garden shed whom they then allow into their home. Tensions are high as loyalties are put to the test and they have to decide whether to help the fugitive.

Junior Chumani Heard was one of Barnes’ students who is featured as an actress in the film. She said that she learned a lot from the experience, which has helped her grow as an actress.

“Prof. Barnes guided me through this experience by ensuring that we filmed various scenes multiple times. This involved incorporating diverse shots, such as close- ups focusing solely on either myself or my classmate, and introducing props to enhance the scene’s realism,” Heard said. “His patience was evident as he provided valuable pointers on exploring different emotional scenarios within the scene, contributing to our overall learning process.”

Graduate student Quinlan Sullivan, who is in the film and television master’s program, is also an actor in the film. He was a junior during the time of filming and said that Barnes was able to help him branch out and was a huge influence in understanding the basics of the film industry.

“As a student actor, we were recreating scenes from the script, so it was interesting to act out scenes that haven’t actually been made into a real film yet,” Sullivan said. “ I would say my main takeaway is that it truly takes different people and perspectives to understand the true meaning or intent behind certain scenes and scripts.”

Tickets for the show are available online. A student ticket is $10 and an adult ticket is $12. The star of the film, Kristen Ariza will be at the premiere and will also be available for a Q&A after the film.

Junior Bente Bouges said, “I think it is really amazing that students get the opportunity to act in a film that is going to be shown in our community theatre. It seems like such a cool and fun experience.”

Barnes is excited that his film, which has been in the making for years, will finally be premiered.

“It’s a thrill to be able to show the movie at the SHU Community Theatre. It’s a great screen to show your movie on and I can’t wait to see it with an audience,” said Barnes.

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