SG resident completes long-awaited pirate film

Photo: Alyssa Huber is surrounded by some of the props from her pirate movie “Cursed Waters,” which she recently finished editing. The Sugar Grove teen wrote, directed and acted in the movie and filmed it last summer. Photo by John DiDonna

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Four years of writing, filming and editing are about to pay off for Sugar Grove resident Alyssa Huber, whose film, “Cursed Waters,” will premier at the Sugar Grove Library on Friday, July 22.

The film was inspired by Huber’s childhood fantasies, as she often dressed in costumes and embarked on adventures that involved her front porch serving as a pretend pirate ship. The plot revolves around brothers Eli and Sam Larkin, who live in poverty on the island of Martinique. A severe storm complicates matters even more by destroying the boys’ home, which leads Eli to join up with a pirate crew searching for James Vladimir’s Lost Treasure, and the curse-breaking Stone of Xixi.

“(‘Cursed Waters’) is filled with comedy and random jokes, and although the quality isn’t professional, it’s enjoyable all the same,” Huber said.

The 105-minute film will be screened during an invitation-only session with limited seating. Attendees will also have the opportunity to order a DVD copy of “Cursed Waters.” Huber will eventually take online orders for the DVD, as well.

“Any profits will only reimburse me for the value of the DVDs, and the rest will go to a charity,” Huber said. “The soundtrack will soon be available to buy, as well, and that money also goes to charity.”

After capping off four years of hard work on the film, Huber said the actual filming was the most difficult part of the project.

“The hardest scenes to film were the ones with more cast and crew, the ones at more challenging locations where it was uncomfortable, hot (or) cold, and/or with a lot of bugs, and also ones with longer dialogue lines and fight sequences,” she said. “(In terms of) actual scenes, I think the hardest were the cannibal/treasure cave scenes.”

In contrast to the hectic nature of filming, she felt less rushed during the post-production period, which included editing the film and soundtrack.

“I enjoyed working on (post-production) myself,” she said.

Huber said she won’t be doing a sequel to “Cursed Waters” or any other full-length films. However, she’ll continue to create comedy shorts and post them on AH Films’ Facebook page, as well as YouTube if she can secure a copyright.

Huber’s next project will begin next month, when she begins filming “Monologgers 2,” the fantasy-themed sequel to a series of comedy shorts that involve specific themes and time periods. The main character of “Monologgers” narrates the story during the film.

“At the end of each short, there is another character who gets annoyed and strangles the main character until he stops his supposedly annoying monologue,” she said.

It’s unlikely, however, that “Cursed Waters” will elicit that same kind of annoyed response from its audience.

“(The film) didn’t turn out how I expected, but then again, I had unreasonably high expectations for it when I first started,” Huber said. “I like how it turned out anyway, and I’m sure everyone will be pleased with our production.”