‘The Gallows’ Directors Meet With Clovis West Theater Class

‘The Gallows’ directors, Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing assisted in producing for the Clovis West Theater. (Photo Tremendum Pictures)

Film directors Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff a graduate of Buchanan High School met with a class of students at Clovis West High School on Thursday during the class’s regular meeting time. The class also housed students that were in production of Clovis West’s version of Alice in Wonderland which will be performing for audiences live at the Dan Pessano Theater at Clovis North High School.

But not only did the directors meet with the students, they actually helped the class film a segment for the upcoming production. The introduction and a brief closing segment to the play will be shown digitally, both sequences with which ‘The Gallows’ directors assisted in producing for the Clovis West Theater. 

These sequences as well as Lofing and Cluff were introduced by Clovis West Theatre Arts program teacher and director Sandra Hahn. Hahn remembered how Lofing and Cluff were able to film throughout Central California, more specifically Fresno and Clovis and asked the pair to extrapolate on that experience.

Travis Cluff responded, “It’s still magical here, people are still excited about it, it happens so infrequently that we are able to do a lot of fun things and have a lot of good will from the cities, Fresno, Clovis, and the surrounding cities.” He explained to the group that people in general love to have the “once in a lifetime” kind of experience when making a film in the Central Valley. 

He then described to the group that Tremendum Pictures, the duo’s co-founded production company had recently filmed a television pilot in Fresno. “[We] spent four days, all in Fresno, at one of the buildings here in Fig Garden, a park in Clovis, Bicentennial Park…it was a fun experience. It only took a couple of phone calls to the city.”

They stated that shooting in the Valley was a lot of fun and in Los Angeles for the same process it would have taken triple the amount of time and cost upwards of a few hundred thousand dollars. Cluff called it the “perfect example of utilizing Fresno connections.” He also explained that the Valley is the perfect spot for multiple locations to shoot a film. “[People] don’t know that Fresno is this hidden gem in the middle of California.”

A few students filmed “Behind the Scenes” footage of the work that the pair along with students from the production completed for the play. In the behind the scenes footage, videos are recorded from a cellphone in which one can see the actors interacting with Cluff and Lofing throughout their time at a ranch filled with flowers, trees, and even a few cats. This was a location that Lofing and Cluff had scouted in the past and remembered when the production asked if they would help them with their digital portion. 

The group then got to see Cluff and Lofing in action, walking actors through sound and lighting checks and even helping some students work the equipment with which they shot the sequences. The group of students were then treated to a viewing of both the beginning and the ending sequences that were shot.

Alice In Wonderland looks to be performed with the digital introduction and conclusion sequences May 5-7 and 12-14.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.