Local students premiere final film in fantasy series
GREATER SPRINGFIELD – A group of high school-aged youth recently released the third installment of a film trilogy called Conservators, a feature length fantasy film about the timeless theme of the battle between the forces of light and darkness. The film premiered at the Greenfield Garden Cinema on Sept. 18.
The Conservators III theatrical trailer:
East Longmeadow High School senior Jack Dalton, co-creator, writer, director, and actor in the film, said the Conservators trilogy takes place in the late 1800s and follows a teenage protagonist named Elizabeth Tucker, played by actress Jenna Phelan, who finds her herself immersed in a supernatural world of good and evil.
“It essentially starts with Elizabeth off in her own house and she ends up running away from home because her mom is really not too nice to her,” he added. “She ends up finding herself in this forest that she had no recollection of having been by her house.”
Elizabeth enters the forest and encounters Mortalitus, a dark spirit played by Dalton who is seeking to corrupt the light of the world for his own ends. Mortalitus senses something special about Elizabeth and pretends to be on the side of good in order to find out more about her.
“He knows that she is somehow important,” Dalton explained. “What ends up happening is that Elizabeth is the descendant of one of these conservators who are almost like gods. She ends up becoming one of these conservators and she has to protect the light from Mortalitus.”
Fantasy sagas such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” influenced the writing of the film. Dalton said television shows such as “Lost” and “Doctor Who” also serve as a personal influence.
Dalton said the production for the trilogy started off with a “not too impressive” high definition camera. The team had no sound equipment, a tripod, and script writing software. At a later point, he said he purchased a better quality Canon camera.
All three films were completed during the course of two and a half years, he noted. The first two films have a running time of about a half an hour. Conservators III has runtime of about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The third film also includes about 15 minutes of battle sequences with an ensemble of about 30 actors, Dalton noted.
“There are shots of Jenna throwing some water at me but we shot it backwards so it looks like she lifted it out of the river and it’s flying towards me,” he added.
Phelan, co-creator of the trilogy and a senior at the Williston Northampton School, said filming took place across seasons at various locations such as wooded areas in Enfield, Conn., an abandoned quarry in East Longmeadow, and near the Norcross House, built in East Longmeadow in 1880.
“The big takeaway is how much time we put in and that now that we’re seniors we’re also worrying about college and we created this huge thing that’s so much bigger than anyone one of this and we’re all especially proud of how it came out,” she added.
The production’s YouTube.com channel, Random Homemade Videos Television (RHVT) features a trailer for a new episodic drama thriller called “Corruption,” which is scheduled to be released by the end of the year.
Dalton said he hopes to have a screening of Conservators III at ELHS in the future and potentially at other locations. The film’s trailer and other RHVT videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/RandomHomemadeVideos