A pirateâ€™s life for she (with photo gallery)
Photo: Alyssa Huber directs a scene from her movie â€œCursed Watersâ€ at her home in Sugar Grove on Aug. 11. Alyssa began writing the screenplay for the movie a couple of years ago and is doing it for the experience and her love of film. Photo by John DiDonna
Sugar Grove teen parlays interests into filmmaking
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Childhood adventures and fantasies often evolve into laughable, semi-cherished memories that fade well before adulthood. But for Sugar Grove resident Alyssa Huber, her memories of dressing up in costumes and pretending that her front porch was a pirate ship became the inspiration for a film she both wrote and directed.
â€œI started becoming interested in pirates (as a child), when I met my friend Kate,â€ Huber said. â€œSince then, Iâ€™ve wanted to make our random adventures into a movie.â€
Huber has spent the past three years writing, filming and editing her movie, â€œCursed Water,â€ which is a more comedic take on the â€œPirates of the Caribbeanâ€ series, she said. The film tells the story of Eli Larkin, a wannabe pirate accompanying other pirates on a quest to find a valuable stone.
Huber has always been interested in plays, said her mother, Linda Huber.
â€œShe and her younger brother would dress up and act out skits for me and my husband,â€ Linda said.
Huber, who is now 18, was home-schooled, but also took a few classes at Waubonsee Community College during her junior and senior years of high school. One of those was summer class that further sparked her interest in screenwriting. She began writing the â€œCursed Waterâ€ screenplay in that class.
Huber said the film-editing for â€œCursed Waterâ€ should be finished by the end of the year. That task, along with writing and filming, involved more work than the costume design, which was rather simple, she said.
â€œI figured out that normal clothing can look pirate-y, depending on what you use or how you arrange it,â€ she said. â€œFor example, the costume for Eli was just a white T-shirt, a necktie, bandana and tan pants with a belt and sash.â€
Eli is played by Huberâ€™s brotherâ€™s friend, Harrison, whom she chose to play the role early in the filmâ€™s development.
â€œI came up with Eli while taking a screenwriting class, and I immediately thought of Harrison and decided he was perfect for the part,â€ she said. â€œOnly a few of my friends got to come up with their own characters (for the film). The rest are characters that I made up.â€
Now that she is close to having her first film finshed, what is the next step for the young writer and director? She plans to go to college and possibly become an author or screenplay writer, her mother said. Huber said that she would be willing to work in just about any position in the film industry.
â€œI was hoping to be a director, but Iâ€™d like any job that has to do with making movies, such as screenwriting, editing, camera or prop (and) costume design,â€ she said. â€œWhen I was younger, I always liked dressing up and having cool things to say, so basically I wanted to be an actress. Now I am more interested in directing.â€