Freedom New Mexico: Sharna Johnson Jake Rachinski adjusts a helmet worn by Marcus Hart. Hart, a custodian at Eastern New Mexico University, is playing the part of a futuristic Nazi in a student-filmed production.
By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico
Hot glue, fiberglass and “sanding, sanding, sanding,” followed by paint are what it takes to make a helmet.
Combine that with about 20 people, more than 300 hours, many, many sleepless nights, chopped up roller blades, Worcestershire sauce, paint, toy guns and countless other odds and ends and the result is space Nazis taking over the campus at Eastern New Mexico University.
“It’s actually a joke that we started for a ‘what if’ movie and it turned into this,” said James Perkins, writer, director and producer of “Kreiger: An Arise of Warriors.”
The 90-minute student-produced science fiction film is a collaborative effort between Perkins, his wife Silver and Jake Rachinski.
Assisted by a crew of students, the trio was busy Friday decorating the administration building at ENMU for the start of a two-day shoot.
The filming is the part of a four-year-old directed study class overseen by Laurel Petty, assistant professor of digital cinema arts.
Petty said the students in her class must have a written script prior to taking the class and when she confirms they have a plan and are prepared, they engage in making a movie for college credit.
Acting as a guide in the process, Petty said she monitors and grades the students as they work through the process from beginning to end.
Perkins’ film is the first science fiction movie shot at ENMU, she said.
Students are responsible for all aspects of their film, from writing and directing to costumes and editing.
“It’s great, it’s going well,” she said. “For students they’ve been quite organized, they’re doing quite well and they’re very passionate about their work.”
Rachinski said they hope to finish the film, a project that has been in the works more than two years, by summers end.
Peeling off his silver mask, Marcus Hart, custodian for Eddy Hall said he agreed to play a part in the movie because, “I like to help out where ever I can.”
“(In my first student-movie) I was a zombie running across Eastern and it just evolved from there. I get killed in this,” he said with a laugh.
“There’s a lot of people that die in this, we’re not friendly to anyone,” Rachinski said as he pulled one of Hart’s elbow-length gloves off.
The movie is a post-apocalyptic tale about Germany winning World War II through the use of atomic bombs and centers around three warriors, an American, a German and a Russian, who battle the Germans for control of Texas.
“When I fall asleep there’s a swastika in my eyes. It’s horrible,” James Perkins said, explaining he rarely sleeps and has worked non-stop on the film for the past two years.
Laughing, Silver Perkins said, “It’s been a long haul but we’ve still kept it going.
“Our house is very messy (with props and projects) I wouldn’t want anyone to come over.”
James Perkins said he would love to see the movie develop a cult following and is not worried about making money on it, but just wants it to be shown.
As for the end — the end is a secret, he said, saying only, “It doesn’t quite end.”
“That’s my thing, always leave room for a sequel.”