Local indie film “From the Furnace” led by UW-Fox alumni

“From the Furnace” logo • photo courtesy of FootSteps Productions

UW-Fox alumni Isaac Stitt and Caleb Jablonicky took what they learned on campus and applied it to the making of From the Furnace, a local indie film anticipated to be shown at Wildwood and other film festivals.

From the Furnace looks like just a cop drama, but it is entirely deeper and more compelling than just that.

“[From the Furnace] is fundamentally a story about a man struggling to hold on to hope as his world falls apart, which in his case happens to involve fighting crime lords bent on conquering his city,” Caleb Jablonicky, director of photography and editor, said. “The psychological drama and ultimately affirming message is the main draw, and you get some entertaining performances from an eclectic range of heroes and villains as a pretty enticing bonus.”

As the director of photography, Jablonicky’s job involves capturing every shot, running the camera and working closely with Director Isaac Stitt to express exactly what they wanted to show and how they wanted to show it.

Isaac Stitt, director, (left) and Caleb Jablonicky, director of photography and editor, (right) plan a shot next to the camera. • photo courtesy of FootSteps productions

“Lots of last-minute problem-solving was involved, and after several difficult nights, I can report that lighting for night scenes is my least favorite part of cinematography,” Jablonicky said.

Jablonicky plays two roles, not only director of photography, but also editor.

“As editor, I’ve been responsible for combing through 30-plus hours of footage and assembling each of the scenes, figuring out the takes and pacing that we want to go with while getting feedback from the director and producer,” Jablonicky said.

In addition, he has also performed a few miscellaneous duties for the film, including designing the logo and editing the main trailer.

Both Stitt and Jablonicky are proud graduates of UW-Fox Valley, and for Jablonicky, that’s where his career in the movie making-industry began.

“UW-Fox Valley and my instructor and mentor Thomas Frantz in particular did a lot for me in helping me gain a certain level of experience, ultimately preparing me for some freelance media opportunities as well as From the Furnace. Being able to run camera at events on- and off-campus [as well as] brushing up on my editing and gaining familiarity with a range of equipment took me from interested to competent in the span of two years,” Jablonicky said.

When it comes to getting a spot in the movie-making industry, Jablonicky credits UW-Fox Valley and his own good luck.

“It’s hard for me to account for how I got into this position besides really good fortune. UW-Fox was a great place for me to get started, and thanks to my experience there, I received a few completely unexpected opportunities along the way, including production assistant work for NASCAR. Just taking advantage of the opportunities there was part of how I got to From the Furnace, and being fortunate enough to attend the same university as [Stitt] was pretty much the rest,” Jablonicky said.

Jablonicky says he’s been very busy editing From the Furnace on top of being a full-time junior at UW Oshkosh.

“We’re looking at picture lock in about three weeks, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Editing a film and writing college term papers at once is no mean feat,” Jablonicky said.

From the Furnace is in post-production and has not been released yet, but will be shown at state film festivals like Wildwood in 2017. The hope is for a chance at a theatrical release of the film after that.

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