By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
Students from multiple schools in Belton recently traveled to Austin to film scenes for the indie feature film The Bob Zula. Originally from Magnolia, director Brandon Reich started out by making comedies with friends when he was young, often using the family camera. That’s where his inspiration and passion for film began.
“The inspiration for The Bob Zula came from a lot of places and people,” Reich explained. “As mentioned earlier, my friends and I made sketches. One of our episodes was Bob’s Adventures. It was basically my friends and I filming each other being up to no good or tricking each other on video for our own amusement. The feature is based on a short film that’s loosely based on a true story, about the same friends when we were seniors in high school.”
Tana Lara, Owner of SIROCCO Style Studio, has been serving the Belton/Temple area for a little over ten years and recently expanded her talents to the film industry. Her daughter, Taylor Bailey is the lead make-up artist for the film.
Since the film is set during Bob Zula’s last year in high school, some scenes called for many extras needed to help create authenticity to the film. Lara saw an opportunity to get the community involved.
“I really wanted to share the experience and give people the chance to be included in something pretty sensational,” Lara said. “I tapped into my clients and some family to help out. I was really grateful to those that gave their time and made the trek all the way down to Austin and then later to San Marcos.”
Some of the Belton extras will be played by Belton New Tech High School students Autumn Goodman, Rachel Black, Marcelo Torre and Robert Lopez. Other BISD students that are in the film are Belton High School junior Michael Jarryd-Lara, Lake Belton Middle School student Ian Mathieu Lara, LBMS 7th grader Dylan Clunk, North Belton Middle School 8th graders Zoeii Peterson, Sam McCullough, Derrick Taylor and Ryan Saxton and Belton High School graduate Taylor Bailey.
The Temple extras will be played by Bonham Middle School 8th graders Addison King and Erin Baumbach, Temple High School sophomore Lauren Rivera, Temple High School graduate Rosa Rivera and UT Freshman Dylan Prather and Jake Sames.
Filming for the baseball field scene began at 8 a.m. in San Marcos. After takes, retakes and several wardrobe changes, the director, cast and crew all felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Clunk says that he enjoyed the experience and now has a better understanding of how much time and dedication goes into filmmaking. When asked what his favorite memory of the experience was, Lara replied with “The pit bull being stolen from Little Bob Zula! You’ll have to watch the movie to understand… wink, wink.”
With the filming of the Pool Scene running until 12 a.m., various scenarios were filmed, and all extras were called to help create a scene of chaos in front of the house. The last scene was by the poolside, and the extras were called on to create a natural depiction.
Rivera noticed all of the small things that go into making a film.
“The background extras make up a big part of the actual scenes that are going on,” Rivera said. “I didn’t realize how much actually goes into the production, like how the director spaced out everyone for it to look natural.”
With the wrap-up date being June 2, the film is now in post-production and in the process of being edited.
“I really want to thank all my clients and my family for helping me through the last couple of months,” Lara said. “I wanted to share this experience with people here because I am very proud of Temple/ Belton. I think it’s an incredible place and has a lot to offer. At the same time, I wanted to open people here to a bigger world and give them an opportunity to other influences and show them that even we, a small town in central Texas, are worth something, and can make a difference and be a part of something grand!”