After a two-hour bus ride from Boston College to Hartford, Conn., filmmaker Francisco Serrano, CSOM ’23, filed into a gilded movie theater with golden trim and deep red wood framing a golden curtained stage. During the festivities of the Trinity Film Festival on May 7, Serrano sat in the audience and saw his own accepted short film, The Thing About Love, fill the big screen.
Serrano created the short film as a member of the Hollywood Eagles film club and submitted the piece to the Trinity Film Festival in January. The festival’s judges notified the club that Serrano’s film was one of the 24 accepted pieces chosen out of 85 submissions.
Before capturing the audience in the grand theater, Serrano’s film came a long way from its beginnings at the Hollywood Eagles club fair table in the fall of 2021.
The club has gone through a revitalizing period since the spring of 2021. After the club was unable to create films for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, president Dan Carroll, BC ’22, and vice president Dominic Floreno, MCAS ’23, spent the spring and fall of 2021 gathering funding for projects.
After reading Serrano’s script, the pair decided to pour the Hollywood Eagles’ resources into bringing Serrano’s vision to life.
“It had a small scale, but it had a lot of heart and emotion,” Floreno said about his initial reaction to the script.
The Thing About Love follows a young couple—played by Brennan Denzel, MCAS ’23, and Inez Martinez Velasco, MCAS ’23—whose love story is curtailed when one of them is accepted to transfer schools and leaves BC. The film features familiar spots on BC campus, including Alumni Stadium, the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and the McMullen Museum of Art.
For the team of student creators—including Serrano, producers, a cinematographer, a photography director, and production assistants—the filming took them from late October into early December to complete. After capturing the final shot, Serrano and Floreno—along with post-production colorist Harley Cheng, MCAS ’23—finished the editing process in early January.
The film is Serrano’s first foray into filmmaking, as he followed his curiosity about the creative process when he first approached Floreno and Carroll with his idea. He said that the creative challenge and satisfaction of writing and directing the piece has motivated him to continue making films.
“To have it complete was satisfying enough, and then just to see the hard work paying off and being rewarded for it was amazing,” Serrano said.
Floreno said that the success of Serrano’s film is an encouraging sign for the Hollywood Eagles, and the club aims to produce one or two high-quality short films next year.
The club’s most recent project is an anthology series titled Short Notice. The club posted the first episode, called “Class is in Session,” on June 4.
Carroll said it was Serrano’s drive and the dedication of other Hollywood Eagles members that brought the film together.
“Getting a bunch of people that were passionate about the project and who wanted to see it done well was a big part of it,” Carroll said.