UTRGV student Jacob La Follette is taking 12 hours and working four days out of the week. With a drive for the art of filmmaking, La Follette would stay up late at night in order to complete his film, “Paper Thin,” that will be a part of Dogme 15–a collection of five short films.
As a part of the filmmaking process, La Follette had a total of four drafts. After filming his third draft, which took about two hours, the San Benito native realized it was not up to par with his expectations.
“I went to bed that night and the next day I woke up and looked over it,” the 20-year-old said. “I thought it was awful. I thought what I was going for was awful. I almost accepted failure because I only had about three weeks left until the deadline. But a bolt of inspiration came and I wrote down my final script in about 20 minutes. And it was pretty much smooth sailing after that.”
Four other Rio Grande Valley filmmakers shared his struggle in creating their own short films for Dogme 15. The title of the collaboration originated from the Dogme 95 movement from Denmark in 1995. The goal of the movement was to emphasize an importance on story and characters rather than special effects. Filmmaker Mark Hernandez said, Dogme 15 is paying tribute to the movement.
“We’re also paying respect to the roots of film, where it’s all about the story,” Hernandez said. “It’s filmmaking in its purest form.”
Hernandez, who created “Dance Alone,” has been interested in writing and storytelling since he was a child due to his fascination with superhero cartoons and comics. However, once he reached his teen years, Hernandez turned his attention away from creativity entirely.
“It wasn’t until college where my desire to be creative returned,” Hernandez said. “By that time, it was fairly inexpensive to buy your own video camera and I had a newfound interest in creating sketches and films, so the timing was quite convenient.”
Hernandez is a staff member of the production company that handled Dogme 15. Based in Donna, Platydroid Productions has produced two films such as “Her Doppelganger” and “Unmexican,” a web series called “Cultosaur” and several music videos since it was first established in 2011. Platydroid Productions is a work crew of three who strive to present unique stories through independent films.
2010 UTPA graduate Clare Nerio created “For Ever Young,” which is about a 10-year-old boy who has a strong interest in drawing–particularly nude people. Throughout this film, the audience can spot Nerio and her son, who both played as actors, as well as a series of Nerio’s drawings. During the two to three weeks the five filmmakers generally spent creating their short films, Nerio was exposed to the amount of talent present in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I learned that this was a collaborative process,” the 30-year-old said. “There’s so many talented people here in the RGV. I found someone to do acting, I found someone too that could make music and I found someone who could [work] a camera. And with all these talented people, it’s just hard to find the opportunity.”
The Dogme 15 premiere will take place Saturday at the Border Theater, 905 N. Conway Ave. in Mission. Admission is $5.