BGSU film student creates movie magic

Jay Ellison has been interested in making films ever since his senior year at Medina High School. While taking a television production class Jay discovered his love for filmmaking.

His teacher, Alex Gabrielsen, showed Jay the fundamentals about producing movies. Jay produced his first film titled “Disclosure” while taking the television production class.

Looking back at the action adventure film now, Jay realizes how far the production value of his films have come since then. Jay has made six films so far in his young career.

Jay also worked at PBS for two years doing various jobs, including electronic field production, lighting, editing and production cart editor. The job was a good learning experience, but his ultimate goal is to produce feature films.

When Jay came to the University, he saw lots of opportunities available in the film program.

“I saw that it was a growing major,” Ellison said.

For the second semester in a row, Jay is the president of the University Film Organization on campus. The main goal of the UFO is to create greater film awareness. They do this by hosting film festivals where they are able to showcase their work.

The ideas for films come to Jay in many different and interesting ways.

Some of his ideas come to him in his sleep. Whenever Jay has a dream he writes it down on a pad of paper that sets next to his bed. One example of this is when he had a dream that a car hit him, it inspired him to write a zombie action thriller called “Life After Death.”

Listening to movie soundtracks also inspires Jay to write films. In almost all of his films his life experiences are also expressed in one way or another.

It usually takes Jay about one week to write a rough draft for a screenplay. After the first draft is written he then begins to make many revisions until he is satisfied with it.

Jay has been preparing for almost three weeks to start filming his latest project, “Portrait of Desire.” The film is going to be a dark mystery that is a parody of the Film Noir genre.

A crew of about five to eight people will be helping Jay with the production of the film. The crew will consist of a cinematographer, gaffer, grips, production assistants and a sound guy.

The greatest accomplishment in Jay’s film carrier so far was the completion of his fifth film “Lex.”

It was the first film he felt was worthy enough to send to film festivals across the country. “People were amazed that a student could make that,” Ellison said.

Jay is planning to start filming “Portrait of Desire” in about two weeks. He knows that before he can even think about being a professional director he needs to improve greatly. “Even though I have made six films, I have a lot to learn,” Ellison said.