While COVID-19 has created parallels with dystopian societies from science-fiction, it was real for Cinema major Rocio Camacho last year. The pandemic forced Camacho to complete her own science-fiction film remotely, far from cast, crew, instructors and campus editing labs.
Nevertheless, Camacho was able to complete her thesis film and graduate in spring 2020. “Glitches” centers on an 18-year-old, Ava, who unknowingly participates in an experiment that changes memory and behavior. When her boyfriend’s body begins to look like a hologram, she questions what is truly real in her relationship. “Glitches” received an Honorable Mention for Best Student Film at the 2021 Hollywood Independent Filmmaker Awards and Festival. It was also screened at Festival Angaelica and has been submitted to more film festivals.
Camacho became interested in the sci-fi genre in high school. Her original goal was to pursue theatre. However, after watching The Avengers series, she became increasingly curious of how superhero films were produced. After stepping foot onto San Francisco State University’s School of Cinema, Camacho realized that she wanted to create new worlds through screenwriting.
What were some challenges that you encountered when directing the film?
Trying to find crew was a challenge. In addition, making sure locations worked out had some challenges. There was one instance where I couldn’t get a permit, but luckily I talked to the person in charge of the building and it worked out. Of all, the weather was most challenging. Transportation and making sure everybody could arrive on set was another. However, I received a lot of support, and the team pushed each other forward.
Despite the pandemic, you persevered to submit “Glitches” to film festivals. What kept you going?
I worked so hard on this film, and it took me [nearly] a whole year to write it. I wanted to share it and for it to be seen. It was revised so many times, and the team had worked so hard.
Entering the film industry during the pandemic can be very difficult. How have you been doing? How has it been finding opportunities?
It took me a whole year to get back on set. I was able to get my first [production assistant] gig since graduation. When you ask for a job, they give you advice. When you ask for advice, they give you a job. It is really important to network and build relationships. Building genuine connections is key.
What is a piece of advice you have for future graduates?
It is going to take time, just keep focus on what you want to do, reach out to people (friends, alumni, people in the industry) and continue to network.
— Ying Wencie Hoang