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From the desk chair to the director’s chair

Growing up in Miami, Shekinah Apedo knew she wanted to do something special with her life; she wanted to make films.

So, last January the USF junior, decided to take matters into her own hands.

That’s when she began filming her movie.

“I’ve been writing for a while, and you can’t make it into the filmmaking business without starting (projects) by yourself,” Apedo said. “Not too many people will help you out because they are going to do what they want to do.”

Intrapt is Apedo’s first attempt in the extremely competitive field of filmmaking. The piece, a 19-minute short film starring nine USF students, was written, produced, directed and edited by Apedo.

In addition to wearing many hats in the production of the short, Apedo was responsible for creating the score of the film as well.

Intrapt is Apedo’s first screenplay turned into a film, but it is not the first one that she has ever written. Inspired by The Stepfather starring Anthony Quinn, Apedo took up writing at a young age. At the age of 8, she wrote a two-page, front and back, screenplay.

“I’ve written my own spin-off on it,” Apedo said. “It had to do with religion and something with the final confrontation being in the church, but it was so like The Stepfather, … That was the first thing I had ever written.”

The film is a little longer and more intense than her first foray into writing. The psychological thriller that started out as a nine-page screenplay eventually stretched to 21 pages.

As a psychology major, Apedo said her background in that field helped build the main character of the movie, a paranoid schizophrenic.

“She finds herself all covered up in blood in an abandoned building with no one else around,” Apedo said. “She’s not clear whether she’s killed these people. She doesn’t know, but all she hears are voices that are telling her that she did it. It’s actually her mind that’s filling her head with false information.”

Apedo said that the movie is “based on the filling-in process of the mind.”

The film revolves around Jamie Mitchell, the mass-murdering main character.

“She ends up killing the people that are trying to help her because she thinks they are trying to hurt her,” lead actor Lauren Bridges said. “Really they are trying to help her.”

Apedo’s interest in serial killers started when she began taking psychology classes in high school.

“I actually wrote a paper in psychology my senior year on serial killers,” Apedo said. “I had always been interested in the psychology of serial killers and schizophrenia and abnormal psychology.”

Apedo said that type of subject matter certainly inspires her to invent many interesting characters and produces a steady stream of story ideas.

Apedo said that she hopes Intrapt will serve as her foot in the door into the screenwriting field. She said the film may also serve as a preview for the feature film she is working on that, according to Apedo, is along the same lines as her first script.

Apedo will begin distributing her film when she enters it in several film festivals next month.

“Next week, I’m sending it off to Hungary,” Apedo said. “I e-mailed a lot of festival directors.”

In an attempt to get more people to see her work, Apedo said she is trying to enter her movie at the Tampa Bay Film Festival, which takes place during the month of April.

She is also sending it to the Student Academy Awards, where she will compete against filmmakers from New York University, University South California and Florida State in a ceremony being held in June later this year.

She is also forwarding the film to festivals that require free entry, because of her limited budget. Intrapt was filmed with just $300 budget provided by her mother.

USF Students will get a chance to see the film when she will preview it at the Holly J dorm sometime next week.

“She is very passionate about it,” Bridges said. “She has a lot of knowledge with film making and I think she can produce an excellent film.”