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WSU Student Wins Paris Film Award for Indie Film

Paris Film Award Winner | Photo by Arden Reimer | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University film student Jason Estes won the Paris Film Awards Gold Award for Indie Film for the month of October with the short film “A Date with a Cheerleader.”

Award and film

The Paris Film Awards is an international film festival with monthly screenings. Judges inspire highly awarded writers and filmmakers, such as Maddalena Kingsley, Johanne Chagnon and Nikita Hattangady.

A humorous yet chilling thriller, “A Date with a Cheerleader” was produced by freshman film major Jason Estes (Estes Productions). “A Date with a Cheerleader” is Estes’ third film to be internationally recognized, the most recent achievement in Estes’ long history of producing films since eighth grade.

“I would summarize it as a tale of two brothers, the older one being very obnoxious to the younger one on the date, but then the two of them realize what the real intention behind the date is with the head cheerleader in the school,” Estes said.

The film idea was inspired by Estes’ unfortunate encounter on his own “date with a cheerleader.” The situation created the film idea in 2021, and he started filming just this year.

Behind the scenes and the future

Filming spanned over three days in July 2023 with small changes added in September 2023.

The cast and crew consisted of five individuals, with actors also contributing to behind-the-scenes production. For instance, Estes both produced the film and wrote the screenplay.

“I would just make sure whenever I was writing the film that I could have a scene that I was able to do with my constraints on the equipment and the time I had,” Estes said. “I can set up this shot like this, and I’ve kind of, like, drawn it out in my head,” Estes said.

Gavin Lloyd played Louis “Lou” Owen, brother of Andrew Owen, and was the director of photography. Lloyd also did the scoring.

As Estes and Lloyd are close friends, it was natural that they would come together for the film, but acting came with its own set of challenges.

“Making the film, the most challenging part for me was staying consistent with the character I was playing, as I feel like it is generally easy to mess up in that regard alongside constantly forgetting my lines,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd has also produced personal films, such as “Magnetic Massacre.”

However, the most challenging aspect of the film for Estes was the time of day. As the film takes place at night, light sources had to be covered or the directors could only do takes at night.

To watch more from Estes Productions, subscribe to Estes’ YouTube channel. Estes’ next project is set to be a horror-thriller filmed on WSU’s campus and featuring WSU acting majors.

“I want to be able to just make films and help people forget about their problems and just help distract people, even if it is just for 20 minutes, even two hours. I just want to try and help people forget what’s going on,” Estes said.

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