News Column

Huntington University students' film training includes working with 'Duck Dynasty' photography director

November 23, 2013

YellowBrix

Nov. 23--Huntington University film students have spent the past week getting hands-on experience with professionals, including Jim Orr, director of photography for the A&E cable network's hit reality TV series "Duck Dynasty."

About 40 to 50 students have been working on the set the past week with 10 professional mentors, who range from Orr to university faculty, Ashley Smith, the university's associate director for media relations, said in an email.

The students and their mentors are shooting a 7- to 9-minute film, "Likeness," for the national Youth for Christ office, Smith said. Filming took place on the campus in Huntington and at two houses the university owns just off campus.

The film focuses on the positive value of mentor relationships for Youth for Christ participants, Smith said. The screenplay for it was written by Jonathan Scales, a Huntington University junior majoring in film production.

Set in the late 1960s, the film centers around a young mother in Columbus, Ohio, turns to selling drugs to support herself and her three young children, it says on the film's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/likenessthefilm.

A neighbor reaches out to the woman's 11-year-old daughter and helps her make positive choices in her own life, the plot summary says.

The film is inspired by a true story but is not a retelling of that story, Smith said.

Students involved in the project spent months planning it and all this past week immersed in filming it, Smith said. The actors included a few local performers and several from Chicago.

Orr became involved in the project because he is a friend of Dawn Ford, associate professor of digital media arts at the university, Smith said.

"Dawn and Jim are graduates of the same university in California, and they have known each other for quite some time," Smith added.

Youth for Christ plans to show the film in January, Smith said. Huntington University will enter it in film festival competitions beginning in June.

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