Graduate explores time in ‘Epoch’ film

Danny casually zips up a bag and walks out of a bank when he notices a man and his phone floating in the air. Danny walks toward him, carefully places the phone back in the man’s palm and gently closes his fist. He gets back in his car while he touches the ground, unfreezing time and setting everything back in motion.

This is the opening scene of writer and director Nick Blancarte’s movie “Epoch.”

As the last summer of his SF State undergraduate career came to a close, Blancarte began to ponder  the idea of a new film. Inspired by heroism and redemption, he began to compose a relatable script for his audience to enjoy.

A recent cinema graduate, Blancarte continues to work on his short film that was produced and screened earlier this year to satisfy a class requirement. He hopes to convert it into a feature film in the near future.

“I was part of the thesis class in the Cinema department and finishing a short film was required for this class,” said Blancarte, producer of “Epoch” and an SF State graduate.

Blancarte’s unique film evokes emotions of desire, gratification, fear, guilt and nobility from the audience. Perhaps not the first of its kind to flow along a path of discovery, but the movie conveys the producer’s noteworthy vision effortlessly — taking its viewers on a journey through the eyes of a superhero.

“Epoch” is a captivating film about a man named Danny who has the ability to freeze time. He discovers the cost of redemption when he makes a mistake that pushes him into making a choice that transforms his future.

“I tried to make something different than the other films I’ve seen at the University and I wanted something that was relatable to anyone, not just niche audiences,” said Blancarte. “I think hero stories and stories about redemption are relatable to everyone.”

With a crew of about 17 people, including a main cast of two people and five extras, the production began in the summer of 2012. Blancarte had to materialize a script as part of his thesis class that was due to begin in the fall of that year.

“I think Nick did an amazing job,” said Alex Gilbert, assistant director for “Epoch” and recent SF State graduate. “When I first read the script, I was really excited about working on it and I think Nick wanting to turn it into a feature film is a great idea.”

Filming began in early December and lasted for almost four days. The movie was completed in May 2013 when it also premiered at the Film Finals at SF State along with 17 other student films.

“We spent a couple dozen hours refining the concept of the story, and how we wanted to bring Nick’s vision to life, in a way that us college students would reasonably be able to attain,” said Mo Alcaraz, director of photography for “Epoch.”

“What really interested me about the script was the theme of morality, and how that plays out between people in extreme situations. Even people with superpowers are subject to the conflict of reason and emotion,” said Alcaraz.

Once Blancarte has edited “Epoch” to perfection, he plans to screen it at festivals early next year and based on how well it does, hopes to raise enough money to develop his vision into feature film.

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