Alumni Spotlight with Alex Scherkenbach
November 2nd, 2018 | Nicole Lewis
Nicole: Hello Alex, thank you so much for taking the time out to catch us up on your career after graduating. You recently announced exciting news on Social Media, care to share it with us?
Alex: I would love to! I am very proud to announce that “Mourning After” a short film I wrote, directed, and co-produced was selected to be screened at the 2018 Great Lakes International Shorts Festival. It was also selected to play at the Veritas Film Festival, November 9 – 15 in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. It will appear under the Hard Faith category, which I’m extremely excited about!
Nicole: Can you speak about your journey and how it led you down this career path?
Alex: I was born and raised in San Diego. I joined the U.S. Army in 1995 and retired as a Sergeant first class in 2015. I attended Platt College San Diego for Graphic Design and Video Production and graduated in March 2018 with a B.A. Currently, I am a part-time actor and student at LAFS (Los Angeles Film School). I write, direct, edit, and produce films. I’m a storyteller and as my college education continued beyond Graphic Design, I felt intrigued to learn Video Production.
Nicole: What made you choose to attend Platt College San Diego? What was the driving force?
Alex: After the Army, I was already in the process of developing a comic book series (Sweet Lullaby), when a fellow veteran suggested that I attend Platt College. Graphic Design was an excellent fit for comic books because so many of its fundamentals are used in the comic book industry. With the new knowledge that I obtained at Platt, I was soon able to take over lettering duties on my own series and to this day, I am still lettering comic books for other publications. After earning my degree in Graphic Design, I was left with the choice to pursue another degree, and I chose video production. I’ve always been moved by film, so it was a natural fit.
Nicole: Were you interested in video production before attending Platt College?
Alex: The world of film has always seemed like an unattainable goal and something that people only got to fantasize about. Platt College not only taught me the fundamentals of filmmaking but that it was an achievable dream if you put your heart and soul into it.
Nicole: How is it living in the ‘City of Angels’?
Alex: Los Angeles, is the center of the film industry. I’ve made several short films and am now starting pre-production on my first feature film. I have written all the shorts but have taken on many different roles for each film which include director, editor, producer, and reluctant actor. I have also had the privilege to work on movies in Hollywood where I’ve been on bigger sets from production assistant to an actor. I’ve been fortunate to work with producer John Duffy and actor Louis Gossett Jr. I’m currently working on getting my feature film financed.
Nicole: Can you talk about your films?
Alex: Several of my films have been screened in festivals. I’ve included the posters, each with a laurel from the respected film festival. Four of the films are still in the film festival circuit, which means they aren’t able to be screened for the masses yet. I’ve received such positive and encouraging feedback from each festival.
Nicole: You also collaborated with many Platt Students on some of your films, correct?
Alex: Correct, all of the short films that I made while attending Platt College have been screened at several film festivals. My fellow students at Platt College were amazing to collaborate with. I have listed all of our work below.
Jean Gotay – “Parting Ways” (director and cinematographer), “Bloody Mary” (director and cinematographer), and “Behind Him” (cinematographer)
Erika Ramirez – “Parting Ways” (editor and producer), “Bloody Mary” (director, editor, and producer), “Lil’ Red” (editor and producer), and “Mourning After” (editor and producer)
Jason Zuidema – “Swiping Right” (cinematographer and editor), “Bloody Mary” (cinematographer and editor), “Lil’ Red” (cinematographer and producer), and “Mourning After”(cinematographer and producer)
Abdullah Elaradi – “Swiping Right” (actor and sound), “Bloody Mary” (color correction), “Lil’ Red” (actor and producer), and “Mourning After” (drone and producer)
Robert Levesque – “Lil’ Red” (sound and producer) and “Mourning After” (sound and producer)
Morgan Cepero – “Bloody Mary” (actor)
Ash Lang – “Lil’ Red” (actor)
Nicole: Can you provide five helpful tips to implement in the world of video production?
1. Failure is your first learning experience, don’t be afraid of it.
2. Listen to critiques, that’s your audience you’re attempting to satisfy. Also, learn and grow from them.
3. Nothing is perfect, know when to release your film. The Academy Award-winning film “Braveheart” is forever plagued with an airplane and a truck (still one of my favorite movies). Even the pros don’t always get it right.
4. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you don’t know how to do something, learn it.
5. Surround yourself with people that are better than you. Learn and grow from them and teach them as well. A film is a collaboration, not a one-man show.
Nicole: Thank you, Alex, is there anything else you would like to add?
Alex: You are welcome. I think that is all for now!