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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd, South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000 or (800) 590-3428

   LEO NAVARRO , JR.

THE PATH

Senior Project DECEMBER 2015

The horror film genre has deep roots that date back to folklore and ancient religious traditions. In most media, the category of horror focuses on death, evil, demons and what creeps around in the dark recesses of the mind. These stories of witches, vampires, werewolves and ghosts trigger the human ‘fight or flight’ response. This is the principle feature of horror films. Horror films generally focus on the confrontation between good and evil, but also address fundamental societal concerns. Considered the first true horror film, Nosferatu (1922) is not simply a tale of vampirism, it is a film about a town plagued by premature and random deaths that reference the fatalities during the Great War and the Flu Epidemic in the previous decade. In the early 21st century, concerns of contagion, as depicted in the feature film 28 Days Later, showcased the horrors of a viral attack on a world-wide scale. Audience members choose to go along with the movie characters to that dangerous place in the film because they want to know what it feels like to experience that situation without really being there. Psychologically, that is why horror films hit home with so many people. The films remind us all of our own mortality.


My first exposure to such thoughts of mortality was at the age of 8 when I watched the Steven Spielberg film Poltergeist. I became interested in the methods used to create gory moments in horror films and I trained myself how to visually breakdown a movie, frame by frame. As a child, death was a scary notion but, through horror films, it became a natural and safe place to explore my curiosities. My passion, as a young adolescent, only grew when I began to watch horror movies starring my favorite horror movie icons like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger and Michael Myers. I have been making films for over three years now, including writing, producing and directing the picture, as well as editing, costume design and special effects make-up. I have filmed two documentaries for Florida Gulf Coast University, a short horror film for my Digital Media Workshop class entitled After School and I have been the Special Effects creator and designer on several independent films shot locally in Southwest Florida. With The Path I can showcase my abilities as a storyteller, film maker and special effects artist. The Path follows a dynamic revenge/mortality narrative, in which the main character finds herself isolated and not knowing why awful things are happening to her. These traditional elements connect my film to the horror genre.


Filming The Path was a labor of love. While making the picture, I used a handheld Canon G40 camcorder to capture most of the scenes in the woods. The entire movie was shot in Lehigh Acres, Fl. near a stone quarry. It was a location I was very familiar with and that I had used previously. I shot the film at 6:00pm in the evening in order to keep the natural light low and the continuity the same. Each shot was filmed from at least three different angles at least three different times. The only shots not utilizing the Canon G40 were the aerial shots. A drone was used for those scenes. A GoPro camera was also used in some of the footage in order to obtain a first person perspective. The picture was storyboarded prior to filming. The movie follows most of the original narrative seen on the boards, but some changes were made during production. It was written in three acts, although like most movies it was filmed out of sequence. I used the Adobe Master Suites Collection to build and edit the film over a three month period. Over 72 hours was spent behind the camera and well over 150 hours in front of the computer editing the movie.