HAWLEY - Proud of what her hometown has to offer, Alia Haig, has come home to Hawley, to create her thesis film, "Chimes of Destiny: A Fate Shop" for her bachelor’s degree from New York Film Academy. A 2010 graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School, Haig wrote and directed the psychological thriller about a lonely woman who doesn’t communicate well with others. The woman discovers useless items in a shop, and the items, Haig said, change the woman’s fate. The film’s underlying message is that, through the ability to communicate with others, "you gain a personality," Haig explained. It’s the interaction with others, that people tend to need, but not always realize, she added. The characters in the film, Haig admitted, are her because there was a time when she needed, "a little nudge," to be open with others. Haig is a student at the college’s Los Angles school, but she decided to do her thesis in Hawley because of the town’s, "many secret treasures and possibilities," she explained. Of the rural area, Haig said she loves the "nature around here," and being able to actually see the stars because, "when its night, its night." Through her schooling, Haig has completed several five minute films including music videos and Claymations, and there were times where she was given lines from random movies and she had to create a scene based on the lines. Financing all of the projects was always Haig’s responsibility, but students could borrow equipment from the school. Throughout it all, Haig has had to cast people, conduct rehearsals, find locations and all of the other obligations that are part of the job. Part of the work, includes catering for the crew and cast. Of this, for her present film, her mom, Hannah, has been very helpful. Haig called her mom, "amazing." Even though her professors often told Haig that her films needed more dialogue, she disagreed because, "when you’re by yourself, you don’t have a monologue," she expressed with a smile. Her professors, she said, would often say her script was strange, but again, she disagreed because, "that’s what starts things." And, because she was happy with the script, she decided to, "do what I feel is going to work." Well aware of the work she has done, Haig spoke proudly and pleased with what she has accomplished, having had two weeks to complete her film, she added that, "I wrote it, visualized it and I’m going to direct it the way I saw it," because, "I want to do it my way." About 11 people, including her parents were what made Haig’s film possible, as her parents would help with some of the details while she was away at school in Los Angles. Some of the crew members were classmates of Haig’s, while others were also young film makers who wanted to gain experience through their involvement in Haig’s film. Very animated as she spoke, Haig said, her film is a "memory," and eventually she would like to have a screening at the Wallenpaupack school so people could see what she and her crew made. Also, she plans on submitting the film in some film festivals to, "properly expose the wonderful locations, people, talent and art," she said. In Hawley, Haig shot scenes at the Antique Exchange, the Hawley Silk Mill and later in the week, she shot in town between Keystone Street and Church Street. She wrapped up filming in Greeley. As the director and prop master, Haig said since she wrote the script, she knows when challenges arose, like a scene that required seven mirrors; she knew she couldn’t complain because, "I totally did that to myself." She noted that although some parts of the film were a challenge, she did learn more about special effects. Haig’s dad, Voy, said he was very excited and proud of his daughter because, "it is her project, she thought from the beginning to the end." He added that the film is "complicated, even for the 15 minutes, but I’m really proud of her." Someday, Haig said she would like to be an animator because she loves the idea that people can, "completely create the world from each pebble, each leaf." But, for the time being, she needs to finish her academic career, which will be over soon enough since she will be done next semester. Haig will have to present her film in the Warner Brother’s screening room which is, "really amazing," she said happily.
Once all of the editing is complete, "Chimes of Destiny: A Fate Shop," will be about 15 minutes long, but Haig doesn’t plan on stopping with the film. Instead, she wants to make the film into a series after she graduates.
Of the overall project, Haig said it turned out to be better than she anticipated because of the work everyone did and she had fun communicating with some of her crew through Harry Potter terminology. She said, when she saw the monitor and the camera rolling, it was exciting to see that, "everything looks fantastic." Plus, she acknowledged that her vision was improved because of the suggestions she received from the people she was working with.
Making this film was something that, "it’ll be an experience that I will remember forever," she said. Prior to making the film, Haig had planned on staying in Los Angles, but now, seeing what there is on the east coast, she has learned of opportunities in the area, including possible documentaries for people. Mostly though, Haig said she is just, "so gosh darn thankful."