One of the films, Withered Memories, was produced for and premiered in a digital media class Williams took taught by Joe Cornelius, who himself has had a history in filmmaking. The other film, titled Guerilla, will be premiered at the screening.
Withered Memories is a film entirely composed of still images. “The decision to use photos wasn’t just related to the assignment,” Williams said. “But also reflective of how permanent memories can be, even when we are trying to move forward and forget them.” Williams says he saturated the colors to reflect the character’s immense passion, a technique he picked up from Moonlight because he felt it was something not really seen before in a drama.
Williams says the second film, Guerilla, is named as such in reference to guerrilla filmmaking. The entire film was shot in three hours with no funding and on a few locations in which he had no permission to film on, which is common in guerrilla films. The film is a thriller about a man on the run.
“Since we couldn’t afford to buy our own lights, we had to rely on natural sunlight and interior lighting from the rooms we were shooting in,” he said. “I realized it could still look dramatic if we just made the entire thing black and white.” This is a technique, he says, that a lot of French New Wave and early 90s filmmakers used to get around their small budgets.
Williams worked on the script alone for about a year, only to end up deciding not to use dialogue at all. After months of working on these films, he has high hopes for the future. “I’m really excited to see where this goes, I’ve been making videos since I was thirteen,” he said. “So I’ve had a lot of time to grow and develop my vision as storyteller.”
“I’m currently in talks with the Student Media Production Society,” Williams said. “So it’s a sort of dream of mine to inspire other students here at Queens to develop their craft with film and video before I leave after Senior year.”
“I feel like it’s my duty to take all I have learned and really apply it to something only I could make.”