Horwitz’s recognized films foreshadow career

Aaakash Bhojwani, asst. a&e editor

Whenever Joey third wheels with his friend Tyler and Tyler’s girlfriend Lauren, he notices that Lauren always leaves at 3:45. Finding this fishy, Joey investigates and realizes that Lauren is part of the mafia. This is the premise of senior Clayton Horwitz’s short film “Three’s a Mob,” which was named a top ten finalist for best comedy at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City. According to Julie Benca, director of television and film, “Three’s a Mob”’s comedic script made it stand out.

“The first time I read the script [for “Three’s a Mob” it] was laugh out loud funny,”  Benca said.

Horwitz says placing top ten at the film festival was his biggest film accomplishment.

“I had no idea what to expect,” Horwitz said. “I saw some of the movies, but there were so many that you never really know if you are in the running or not. When [“Three’s a Mob”] came up [in the top ten for best comedy], I was just so excited and so hopeful that […] maybe these movies would amount to something.”

In addition to “Three’s a Mob”, another one of Horwitz’s films, “The Dreamer”, was also shown at the festival. Horwitz wrote and directed this film and senior Josh Noll was the film’s cinematographer and editor. This film featured a man dealing with bad side effects of a pharmaceutical program. Benca says that the combination of Noll’s and Horwitz’s talents led to a great product.

“Clayton was always really interested in writing and directing, and Josh was always into cinematography and editing,” Benca said.  “Those two powers combined created this really awesome, creepy and suspenseful film. I really like the shooting style of the film.”

According to Noll, he knew that he and Horwitz had produced a great product when their advanced television class showed a lot of interest in it.

“The whole class really enjoyed it, which made me like it so much more,” Noll said. “The way we marketed it was very big. We had a poster made before the release date. We had a trailer ready. Everybody got a little taste of it, and they wanted to know what was going to happen.”

Horwitz says that seeing his films played at the film festival was a nerve wracking experience because they were playing on the largest screen that they have ever been played on.

“You would think it’s the biggest [screen] it will ever play on really,” Horwitz said. “You just kind of freeze up, and you are not sure how the audience is going to react or how you should. You just kind of have to sit there. If it’s your movie, you know every aspect of it, so you just get to watch it and listen for reactions.”

In addition to having his films played on a big screen in front of an audience was one major part of the experience, Horwitz said he was given the opportunity to meet and hear feedback from filmmakers from all across the country.

“It was so cool just being surrounded by tons of different filmmakers from all across the world that were there for the same thing that you were,” Horwitz said.  “Everyone was just enjoying themselves and meeting all these other people that were so similar to them.”

Horwitz credits the television and film program at South for helping him develop his filmmaking skills. According to Benca, as years have gone by, Horwitz has continued to take bigger and bigger chances with films and has become better at using camera skills to compliment his well written screenplays. While there are many aspects to film production, Horwitz says he is most passionate about directing.

“[My biggest strength is] directing,” Horwitz said. “That is what I’m most passionate about. What I plan to emphasize in college.”

As Horwitz plans on studying film in college after this year, Benca says that she is looking to see what the future holds for Horwitz.

“I’m just really excited to see all the future films that Clayton makes,” Benca said. “I know he’s going to work in film production because he sets his mind to something, and he always achieves it.”