Eastern Grad’s Feature Film Debut

  “I’ve been making films forever since I was a little boy,” says Eastern Graduate Kris Roselli, director of his feature film debut: Hideout. 

  During the final stretch of his senior year, Roselli was always at work, from configuring lighting for the school musical or writing scripts in Mr. Kemery’s Creative Writing class, his passion for filmmaking grew exponentially.  

  “Way back when, I would play with my action figures, and do a lot of drawings, so I was always being creative,” says Roselli. “I remember having a thought when I was little, around 11 or 12, “I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.”

  This passion was cultivated in the halls of Eastern, where he was pushed by teachers to further his innovative writing. 

  “It’s a difficult thing to step out of the box when you’re writing,” Roselli describes, “but it’s really important.” 

  Roselli graduated in 2005, trading the halls of EHS for those of Full Sail University, where he graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Film Production. 

  Thus, the long and difficult journey of an aspiring film director began. He continued to write, now with seven completed feature film scripts on his shelf. 

  Despite his passion, the road was not always smooth. 

  “It’s mostly all setback,” Roselli warns. “It’s important for aspiring filmmakers and actors to know that it is not all fun and games.” 

  The payoffs for the aspiring are few and far between, and Roselli acknowledges the discouraging nature of the field. 

  “But I think the people that want to do this, It’s just something that you need to do. I’d rather struggle and be able to create my art.”

  Roselli continued to write and direct, hoping one day to hit success. Along the way, he realized the importance of failure. While discouraging, it is necessary. It is better to have an imperfect first draft than nothing at all. 

  “The first draft is always rough, but that’s okay. Just write the first draft, and then get onto the second draft. You want to get all your ideas on the page first.”

  Four years ago, after only two drafts, Roselli finished the script for a horror film he titled “Hideout.” With this script, Roselli found success. 

  He attributes this to the script’s potential, and, most importantly, the story. 

  “This script would be entertaining on a smaller budget or a multi-million dollar budget,” he says. “You could have A-list celebrities or people you’ve never seen before, and that’s why I believe this script is special. If the story is there, it’ll be good.” 

  The film soon started production, and Roselli took on the challenge of casting his first feature. Using the internet, he held open auditions for actors all over the country. 

  “If I want to talk to an actor again, it’s either something I was looking for with the character or something they bring to the table that I wasn’t expecting.” 

  After reviewing an actor’s video, he would place them in a Zoom call with other actors, watching them bounce lines off one another. 

Director Kris Roselli on the set of “Hideout”, Photo provided by Kris Roselli

  The movie takes place in a house where all of the characters are trapped together. Because of this, it was important to Roselli that the actors were able to not only work together but play off of each other as well. 

  “The most important part is seeing if they can take direction and if they have a good personality. I’d much rather take someone that’s a good actor that’s excited about being on the project, the movie, than someone who’s a great actor who isn’t very pleasant to be around.”

  The film came out on November 9th and found the success he hoped for. 

  It was nominated for seven awards at the First Glance Film Festival, including Best Horror, Best Director, and Best Narrative. Chris Wolfe, Kate Lyons, and Bryan Enright were nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Breakout Performance, respectively. At the same festival, the film won both Best Ensemble Cast and audience choice for Best Feature Overall. 

  Roselli’s years of effort have paid off with this film, and he believes this is because of his balance between perseverance and patience.

  “You have to have an equal amount of perseverance and patience. If you have too much or too little of either one, you’re just going to fall apart,” he said.

  Now, the film can be found worldwide on Amazon Prime and eleven other easily accessible platforms.

  Despite the struggle, Roselli is proud of his tenacity and wants to extend this lesson to the students at his alma mater:

  “If you believe in what you’re doing in your heart, then don’t give up on your dreams or yourself, even when you feel like everyone is against you. I’ve been following my dreams for over 20 years and I will tell you that they do come true if you work really hard at them. You have to believe that nothing is truly impossible and be determined to overcome any obstacles to achieve your goals.”