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Tuscarawas News Detail

Kent State Students to Make Feature Film This Summer

Posted May. 6, 2013
enter photo description
Pictured above is a scene from Research: The Musical, a
musical comedy with original songs written and scored by
students in the preproduction class taught by Associate
Lecturer Traci E. Williams. Williams and her students are
in the process of creating their third feature film, Hell at
this summer. 

Kent State University students have the cameras ready to roll again to create their third feature film, Hell at Heathridge.

Written by former student Bryan Kelly, the terror-filled tale weaves the story of five young actors who reenact a grisly murder-suicide that occurred at Heathridge University 20 years ago. However, they come to realize it’s not just a simple reenactment. The students soon learn one thing – evil is real.

At this time, more than 50 aspiring filmmakers are tackling the groundwork for this movie in a three-hour preproduction class taught by Traci E. Williams, associate lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. From working on teasers to casting talent, this is a real film production.

“Nobody else is doing this,” says Executive Producer Estee Hodge. “Not even world-renowned film schools.”

The students are giving up an entire summer to shoot the film June 10 through Aug. 3. Seniors Tyler Pina and Caroline Abbey are directing the entire film and overseeing about 100 volunteers. The finished product will premiere before an audience of hundreds at a red-carpet event booked this fall. Soon after, Hell at Heathridge will hit international and national film festivals. The producers are also looking to secure a distribution deal for the movie.

The number one priority for the students now is fundraising.

“If we don’t raise money, we don’t have a film,” Williams says.

The group launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the production. Financial contributions will go towards production necessities, such as camera and audio equipment, props, wardrobe and set meals. The group only has 30 days to raise $25,000. If they don’t meet that goal by May 25, they lose it all and get nothing.

“Everyone involved in this film project is truly dedicated,” Williams says. “Not only are they using this experience to help launch their careers, but they are making a name for Kent State and filmmaking in Ohio as well.

“Kent State University Independent Films will not stop working until Hell at Heathridge is up on the big screen,” Williams adds.

For more information or to contribute to the project, visit the Kent State Independent Films’ Kickstarter page at, and get Hell at Heathridge updates at