Brighton breezes it

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Alumni digitally release film

first_imgProdigy, a feature film co-directed and written by USC alumni Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal, was digitally released March 13 on several platforms including Amazon and iTunes.USC alumni Alex Haughey (left) and Brian Vidal (right), who directed and wrote Prodigy, met in a general education course while they were attending USC as undergraduates. Photo courtesy of Alex Haughey.The sci-fi story revolves around a psychologist who works under a private sector of the military and is assigned to a nine-year-old patient with supernatural powers. Throughout the film, the psychologist dissects more about the patient’s intelligence and the truth behind her powers.“For me, [the film] was always been about exploring the idea of guilt and what happens when we don’t allow ourselves to let go of that guilt [and] the kind of monsters we can become if we continue that path,” Vidal said. “I would hope someone watching the film would ultimately come out of it, feeling ‘Hey, when things seem hopeless, there is hope still there.’”The actors had to put in a conscious effort to mask their own emotions in response to the events in Prodigy during filming.“[It was difficult] to keep my sort of compassionate and empathetic stance throughout and to not react with any sort of frustration in anger, because there is a lot of frustration that can ensue during the course of the film,” said Richard Neil, one of the actors in the film.The crew had to overcome substantial adversity to produce the film, Haughey said. They had to take on multiple roles due to their limited budget and small size. While co-directing and writing the screenplay, Haughey was additionally tasked with producing and casting while Vidal worked on editing.Vidal and Haughey met in a general education course while studying for their undergraduate degrees at USC. Since then, they have worked in and out of the film industry, picking up short films and other job opportunities.“I didn’t know what cinematography meant [before going to USC],” Vidal said. “I didn’t actually understand any of the concepts, it was all just me going with stuff that was interesting. I didn’t have any sort of technical craft that went alongside with that original inspiration. So I think USC took that raw, natural ability and formed that into something where decisions can be made about things on set.”Vidal and Haughey had worked together before Prodigy. Their first feature film premiered last March at the Cinequest Film Festival.“I think that the best part of this whole process was that we took this film to festivals,” Haughey said. “We finally got it done and took it to festivals, where the audience didn’t know anything about it the film. To see them react to the moments, the scenes, and the overall arc of the story that we tried so hard to get right for the people, was unlike anything I’ve experienced before.”last_img read more