January 13, 2013

Bill Nemitz: Horror all around over teen filmmakers' bloodbaths set in Brunswick

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

A young actor aims a weapon at two others in this screen image of a scene from “The Extraction,” one of more than two dozen violent videos produced by USN Films of Brunswick.

Screen grab from Web

click image to enlarge

A scene from “The Extraction” demonstrates a muzzle flash, one of the “new effects” the owner of USN Films – a Brunswick High School student – boasts about having learned since 2010.

Screen grab from Web

USN YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Due to the graphic violence depicted in the videos, viewer discretion is advised.

YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/usnfilms

Indeed he does: Whenever a weapon discharges, the budding editor enhances the video with bright muzzle flashes and the sound of actual gunfire. And whenever someone gets shot -- as in every few seconds -- he envelops the victim in a cloud of red mist suggesting massive bloodshed.

At times, lest we still not get it, he even edits blood spatter onto the camera lens.

In addition to the actual videos, USN Films features several "Behind the Scenes" sequels showing how the crew put it all together.

"One Shot Left," filmed at a quarry in Topsham, includes a real explosion that was produced by tossing a full can of spray paint onto an open fire while the actors huddled only a few feet away waiting for their hard-to-miss cue.

"If I die, I donate my stuff to Africans," says one boy before tossing the aerosol can onto the fire and diving for cover.

In "Behind the Scenes: The Extraction," the ringleader notes that the former Brunswick Naval Air Station closed in May 2011. But, he tells the camera with confidence, "it's open to the public now."

Which, in reality, it isn't.

He adds, "We're military anyway, so we can go on the base whenever we want."

Which, in reality, they can't.

Levesque, upon seeing the sprawling naval air station here, there and everywhere in the videos for the first time Thursday (one kid gets shot point-blank in the head while sitting at a desk inside an old weapons supply building), contacted Brunswick police immediately to request that the kids be served with criminal trespass warnings.

Brunswick Police Chief Richard Rizzo, after taking it all in on his own computer, readily complied.

"I'm very concerned," said Rizzo, who quickly notified Doucett, the library director, that her facility had also been compromised. (The police warning bans the boys from entering the library for the next year.)

Rizzo's biggest fear: That someone might see the kids and call 911, at which point one of his officers could find himself face-to-face with a teenager in full camouflage gear holding what looks very much like a military assault weapon.

"Especially today, after what's been happening throughout the country with young kids and guns, we could get a call and before the officer can determine what's happening, the call could get away from him," Rizzo said. "You only have a split second to decide what you need to do. Depending on the circumstances, anything's possible."

Rizzo had no trouble figuring out who the kids were -- "The Biohazard: Part 1," which begins with a boy inside the apparently closed library brandishing a handgun, ends with a list of credits identifying the actors and crew by name.

Thus it was relatively easy to alert school officials on Friday, call in the 15 students for a sit-down with the assistant principal and the school's resource officer, and pass out the criminal trespass warnings.

Contacted later, school Superintendent Paul Perzanoski said no disciplinary action was taken because there's no evidence the students violated any school rules.

That said, Perzanoski added, "I'm a little dismayed that these kids are involved in using violence on film -- especially in light of what happened in (Newtown,) Connecticut. Any crazy thing could have happened."

And what say the young cinematographers?

My request for an interview, posted on USN Films' Facebook page, went unanswered.

But shortly after the warnings were handed out Friday, the young "owner" took to his Twitter account to proclaim, "USN Films Vs. Town of Brunswick."

Don't miss it, parents of Brunswick.

It's coming soon to a minivan near you.

Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:

bnemitz@mainetoday.com

 

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