Warlords Productions explores action film

by Shannon O'Connor / Beacon Correspondent • October 18, 2012

Warlords give students film experience.
Courtesy of James Johnston
Warlords give students film experience.
Courtesy of James Johnston

Emerson College’s student-run film production organization Warlords Productions prides itself on creating films in the genres of adventure, horror, crime, and thriller.

“Warlords was founded on the basis, A : we are not boring and B: anyone can make a movie,” said senior visual and media arts major and head of marketing for Warlords, Bilal Z. Raychouni. 

The club is becoming more popular at Emerson College, especially with the freshmen accroding to sophomore marketing communication major and Warlords Productions interim President James Johnston.

“It just so happens that we cater towards freshmen, kids who don’t necessarily have any experience whether they are film [majors] or not,” said Johnston. “I think we take in a lot of freshman because we come off as generally excited, friendly people, and we provide an atmosphere for making them feel comfortable.”

Last year, the organization made three short films, one of which was Slim, a movie written and directed by Johnston. Slim is a 10-minute short based on the urban myth “The Slender Man” a thin, tall, creepy ambiguity of a man that talks people into madness. The film chronicles the night of two unsuspecting teens, one of whom gets possessed by this creature and coerced into committing horrific deeds.

The Warlords have a new project this semester: a 20-to 30-minute picture, Like A Hipster Out of Hell, written by sophomore theater studies major Sarah Dompkowski and directed by Raychouni.

“It’s sort of like typical action film meets The Exorcist, meets Emerson College,” Johnston said.

Raychouni credits Warlords Productions for helping him apply the theory of film production taught in class through hands-on experience.   

“I like to think [classes] are priceless, but at the same time you are only learning concepts – you are learning concepts, then you are thrust into the real world expected to apply those concepts practically,” said Raychouni. “Joining a film club will teach you practical [skills] and nobody will do that better than Warlords.”

While many of the films Warlords produces are action movies, last year it was former President Luke Palmer’s short film titled Parent’s Day, that took home the Campus Best Comedy award at the 2011 College Movie Fest. It is a comedy that centers on Lucy, a bullied elementary school student who’s worried her “devil” father will embarrass her and make her even more of a target for the wrath of the other kids at school. 

The Warlords, trying to surpass last year’s busy streak, are gearing up for another ambitious year.

“At the end of the day, we just want to make a fun movie -- a movie you can grab popcorn and just sit down and watch,” said Johnston.