A number of movie and TV shows have been filmed in Imperial Beach. “John from Cincinnati” and “Ruta Madre” come to mind. “IB Heist,” a 6-minute student film is the latest addition.
The film, now posted on YouTube, is a fun flick made by 13-year-old Christian Herring, as an assignment for one his classes. Christian wrote, directed and edited the film. Enlisting his siblings and parents as actors, he not only fulfilled his assignment, but created a fun, entertaining movie that features scenes shot in Imperial Beach including Pier Plaza.
The Herrings are new to Imperial Beach. Christian’s mom Rosalinda, dad Christopher (both teachers) and his two siblings Alesandra, 11, and Nicolas, 8, moved to town just a couple of months ago. (Mom Rosalinda grew up in Imperial Beach.)
The film’s opening scene shows the four actors meeting via zoom - as a reflection of the times. The story has a villain, that is caught in the end, a middleman (woman) in disguise, and action under dark. This is the second film made by Christian who already done a 3-minute Christmas movie this past season. Christian prefers not to act in his films and works in the background instead.
Before deciding on the theme for “IB Heist,” Christian said he was considering other ideas including a story of time travel, then decided on an action film. By going through the process of making a film, Christian learned how much energy it takes to do it right - from re-shooting scenes to using different angles and finally editing. Christian found his mom’s help of value, since she was a film minor in college, and helped with the script and the editing process.
Christian’s younger brother Nicolas, was reluctant to give acting a try. But he was a natural from the start when he starred in Christian’s first movie, which has many scenes shot in the same areas as “IB Heist.”
The entire family worked together to make the movie happen. “As parents we see the potential in our kids before they do…the kids rallied and rose to the level. From our perspective it forced us to go all out together in the community [to film scenes]; it was a real plus,” said Christopher Herring.
The film took three weeks to make from start to finish. Christian first used a camera to shoot the scenes, then switched to an iPhone. The music, which include theme songs from the Pink Panther to Mission Impossible, was a suggestion from his mom, Christian said.
His sister Alesandra has acted on stage and movies before and was a willing participant. “It wasn’t new, but I was excited,” she said of the experience.
“Mom rallied everybody,” said Christian.
“Everybody had good chemistry and Christian has talent with editing,” said Rosalinda Herring.
About choosing the locations, Rosalinda said the intention was always to film locally. “It’s an easy block away [from our house] and not too much trouble,” she said. “It restored creative juices, and I talked to him about possibilities [in the industry]…it brought us together in a creative way. It also brought the entire family together.”
Making the film has been a positive learning experience for everyone. Christopher Herring said creating this film with the family has shown how as adults you can see things more clearly than your kids and is easy to want to micro manage, but has he learned to hold back. “We have to let kids come into their own,” he said.
Christian has enjoyed the fact that the movie can now be seen on Youtube and has tons of likes. Looking back, it was a good experience. “It was a lot of work. In the end it was pretty fun. I liked the editing,” he said. Christian now knows a lot more about making scenes interesting, making transitions and using different angles.
The film took three to four days to film, and two and a half days to edit and Rosalinda Herring and Christian had many high five moments, plus they got to spend time together.
“It was a fun experience for the whole family,” said Rosalinda Herring.
Christian is planning on the next film and has created a teaser for it. “We need additional cast members who follow direction and get yelled at from a healthy perspective,” joked Christopher Herring. To view “IB Heist” log on https://youtu.be/C2DhKvKKkiY. A teaser for the next film “Wheels of Fire” can be viewed on https://youtu.be/E2tu3FHsPkY.