Photo by Kayla Michaud | Jina Moran and Sarah Angeloni filmed and directed their film “Forget Me Not.”

University of Rhode Island Senior Jina Moran saw her ideas come to life as she wrote and directed her own psychological thriller.

Her film is titled “Forget Me Not,” about Kiera, a girl who wakes up and can’t remember anything. Kiera begins to remember a man in her house the night before. He claims to be her boyfriend, but she begins to question if he is lying to her. The film follows her trying to find the truth while learning to trust her instincts.

Moran is a fan of science fiction, but the genre is difficult to make with limited resources. “I wanted to pull from the ideas of suspense and intensity that science fiction would have, but make it just a regular drama, because of the constraints of what we have here at school,” Moran said. “Then I was just like ‘okay I’ll make a suspense psychological thriller.’”

She started writing the script last semester then worked on revising it throughout the summer after receiving feedback from different people. Once class started in September she continued to work on the script while preparing everything else that was needed to plan during pre-production.

“Me and the producer planned everything up until the beginning of November until we shot it,” Moran said.

The writing process is a series of trial and error. It’s something
Moran said that “You just sort of go for it.” She worked on it more and more, improving the script little by little until the final product was something she was happy with. Moran let many other people read it over to give her feedback, using their suggestions to spark new ideas. She made sure the themes she wanted to express were clear and that the dialogue made sense.

“Just over the summer I went through about 15 drafts of it, and from the beginning to the end it really changed drastically,” Moran said. “Then there’s probably a few more drafts during the school year. It changed a lot, it really did change a lot, and I think for the better. It was definitely not that good when it started out. You kind of just chip away at it and kind of try to keep making it work better and better.”

The film was shot in two days, and now the crew has been in the post-production part of filmmaking, putting all the work together to make the final product.

Sarah Angeloni, a junior Film Media major with a minor in Business of Digital Media, worked as the Director of Photography. Overall, she had a pleasant experience working on the set of “Forget Me Not.” “It was the calmest set that I worked on. It went very smoothly. Everyone had a positive attitude, and no one really got negative.”

Being the director of photography, Angeloni was grateful for the technical successes. “Before the production started, I got a demo [demonstration] for the camera and the monitor that we used, and if I hadn’t done that, I think there would’ve been a lot more problems because sometimes the monitor connecting to the camera gets very sensitive, but when you have the right settings it goes smoothly.”

There were many moving parts on a set, and many people were forced to work as one unit. Moran and the crew collaborated on creative decisions. As the director, Moran would make decisions, but she had the whole crew to help her figure out what would work best. Listening to the opinions and ideas of the whole production team was influential in lessening the stress of making those important choices.

She has enjoyed overseeing her project from start to finish and watching her ideas come to life.

“That was probably the coolest part, being able to see that vision become a real film, and be able to sort of control and move that vision in the right direction,” Moran said.

Both Moran and Angeloni have future plans to be in the film industry. Moran is grateful for her decision to study film along with English and the opportunities particularly the film program at URI has provided her with. “It’s a really fun, collaborative process, and you get to be really creative, but you also get to learn a technical skill,” Moran said. “The skills you learn there about working in a group and writing and planning and being creative, are applicable to most things.”

Angeloni appreciates the experience she’s gotten from working different sets. “I’m very grateful that I’m able to work on as much as I have in such a short period of time because if I hadn’t done this, even on a student level, I wouldn’t be prepared for what is to come.”

Moran was able to write and direct her film from taking FLM 445. FLM 445 is an advanced film production class, providing students with hands-on experience in the process of making a short film.

“Forget Me Not” will be screened in Edwards Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 with additional films other students have produced this semester. Admission is free and open to everyone.