Engram: An Upcoming Off the Script Films Release


Off the Script Films

Sophomore Lydia Stravrakos stars in ENGRAM alongside Daniel Isajiw.

Kitty Tsukada, News Editor

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Inspired by boredom due to the onset of the pandemic, Junior Katie Youn and Senior Nate Drew created Off the Script Films, a production company dedicated to creating a worldwide filmmaking community. Motivated by their love for filmmaking, Katie and Nate, among other Off the Script writers and contributors (such as Senior Jonah Sun, Mikayla Pedano, and 2021 Alumni Bella Monzo), worked on several cinematic projects, including their short films New Chapters, The Con Artist, and Engram, the last of  which Katie directed.

ENGRAM is the story of a young teenage boy and how he struggles to cope with the loss of his now deceased girlfriend,” said Youn. “I knew Nate wanted to do a science fiction film, so I tried to look for ways to incorporate science fiction elements with themes that showed the nature of humanity and the dependency on technology. When we were first brainstorming ideas for a new project, we had just finished up our first short film, titled New Chapters. It was about overcoming grief; Nate and I decided that we wanted to explore the complete opposite theme.”

Creating an entire short film while in the middle of a pandemic and the final years of high school was no easy task for those involved. 

“As the director, I had to do a lot of research on film techniques and different types of shots,” said Youn. “I had worked on short films before, but I knew that this story was too special to go into blind. One thing I love about film is the attention to detail filmmakers put into their films. I tried to emulate that as much as possible. Sets, costumes, makeup, shot choices, focal length, color, lighting, sound, music, editing, VFX were all considered during pre-production. Production-wise, it was definitely a lot more challenging than I thought. Shooting days were often long and tiring. I was also taking an SAT prep course in-between shoots, so it was really difficult managing so much homework and directing a short film. Ultimately though, I think I can say it was worth it.”

Off the Script Films’ Engram will be released to the public on December 30th. (Off the Script Films)

Stressors aside, the hard work paid off. After eleven months of writing, editing, production and visual effects, Engram will have its very own premiere screening at the Kelly Music Center this Wednesday.

“It’s really a blessing that I can say I’m having a public screening as someone who’s still in high school,” said Youn. “This is the second short film that I’ve worked on with Nate, and the growth from New Chapters [our first film] is immense. Obviously, we still have a lot of improvements to make, but I’m proud to present this project to my friends, family, peers, and strangers.”

Engram will have a premiere screening at the Kelly Music Center on December 22nd. To attend the premiere of Off the Script’s second short film, tickets are available for free here. Visit the OTS website for behind the scenes, updates, and more!

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