UCCS sci-fi series ‘The Bluffs’ to premiere in April

Dec. 08, 2014

Audrey Jensen
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Strange abductions are happening at UCCS.

The original UCCS science fiction series “The Bluffs” is expected to premier in April 2015. It will feature students and faculty in a variety of roles.

David Nelson, communication department chair, created the series with Matthew Alvarado, senior communication major. Together they are putting together an alien world. The five main characters are UCCS students and Nelson.

The series will feature guest appearances from other campus members as well. Expect to see cameos from assistant professor Christopher Bell, the Dean of Letters Arts and Sciences Peter Braza and campus security guards.

Nelson said he hopes that the production work will be done by next semester. “We don’t have an exact date,” he said. “This turned out to be a pretty ambitious project.”

Nelson also said that he originally thought they would get four episodes done, but admitted they may have been overly optimistic and will now produce only three. As the fall 2014 semester wraps up so will filming. Scoring, special effects and editing is all that will be left.

“We’re not worried too much about post-production. Over the holidays someone will take on editing,” said Nelson.

The scoring, which is the music in a film or television show, will be created by sophomore visual and performing arts major, Joshua Aldrich. Nelson said that Aldrich can’t compose all of the music until he sees all of the episodes.

The staff and cast of “The Bluffs” have had scheduling and timing conflicts. “The class may supposedly meet at 9:25 [a.m.], but you have to meet at 8:00 [a.m.] to start shooting to accommodate actors, because they have their own schedules,” said Alvarado, who is enrolled in both the writing and production classes for the series.

“Our biggest concern getting to the end of the semester is getting everything shot, which is difficult when we only have one day that’s for sure when everyone is available,” Nelson said.

Adams, a junior communication major, said there is diversity within the cast of students that includes theater majors and athletes. Adams himself is an entrepreneur. His former experience in acting includes theater productions in high school and being an extra for “Imagine That” starring Eddie Murphy.

Although he has enjoyed the experience, Adams explained that there didn’t seem to be a clear long-term vision or goal. Nelson mentioned another conflict that the crew came across this semester.

“We also ran into a little problem that we hadn’t really thought about when writing this,” he said. “The span of time the three episodes take in the story is about three weeks. We’re shooting it over the course of the semester, so everything outside changes.”

Because of this and Colorado’s unpredictable weather patterns, the production class decided to shoot every outside scene while there were still leaves on trees and no snow on the ground.

“It is a lot more work and commitment than people think,” Nelson said.

This month they are finishing capturing scenes in all indoor settings.

Nelson plans on screening “The Bluffs” and sharing a link online so anyone in the world is able to view the fifteen minute episodes.

“Be a nice critic and enjoy the laughs,” Adams said. “Join the film community. Take part in it. If you think you can do it better, then offer your opinion.”