UFilm hosts Halloween short film series

Scares and Scores screenshots from UFilm. Courtesy of Andy Bryant
Scares and Scores screenshots from UFilm. Courtesy of Andy Bryant
Scares and Scores screenshots from UFilm. Courtesy Andy Bryant

Sweet treats, creative costumes and themed parties may be Halloween staples, but this year, University of Miami students will be able to experience a new Halloween tradition of their own.

UFilm, UM’s new student-run production company, will be hosting a Halloween-inspired short film festival called “Scares and Scores” on Thursday.

The film festival, which will take place in the university’s own Bill Cosford Cinema, will feature nine short horror films produced by UFilm. Each movie will be paired with a student composer from the Frost School of Music who will in turn create an original score for the short. What makes this festival unique, however, is that a small orchestra will play each score live while the films are running.

“We’re hoping to have a bit of a throw back to the days of yore when that actually happened because they couldn’t put sound in film,” said UFilm’s studio executive Andy Bryant.

According to Bryant, composers from the music school’s Society of Composers Incorporated (SCI) approached UFilm with the idea to create scores for films they were producing. When it came to figuring out how those scores would be presented, SCI and UFilm decided a live student orchestra would be best suited for the occasion.

“I have a theory that I will be able to freak people out more because there will be live players in front of the audience. I want to put that theory into practice and see it work,” said composer Evan Goldman.

However, it won’t just be the music that will be thrilling audiences this Halloween. In fact, those working on Scares and Scores have already been able to raise a few screams while filming. Freshman De’Shonte’ Brooks successfully frightened a girl living in her dorm as she was shooting her film.

“I was in the girls’ bathroom, and everyone was covered in fake blood,” Brooks said. “We had left a knife that was covered in blood on the floor. A girl walked into the bathroom, and as soon as she saw the knife, she just walked straight out.”

The organization hopes to see a large turnout for the film festival. They are even giving filmmakers and composers an incentive to make the best films possible. UFilm will be bringing in a panel of judges to score each film in different categories, such as best film, best score, best acting and more. The winners of these categories will receive prizes, and the winner of the best film category will make its way to UFilm’s spring film festival.

“In my opinion, it’s going to be a huge thing,” said studio manager Joe Sanchez.“If we can get the Cosford full, I’m a happy man.”

If you go:

Who: UFilm and the Society of Composers Incorporated

What: Scares and Scores Film Festival featuring a live student orchestra

Where: Bill Cosford Cinema

When: Thursday at 8 p.m.

Cost: Free