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Francisco Angel: Profile of a student director

Francisco+Angel+is+a+first-year+student+at+Winona+State+University.+He+has+been+producing+films+on+YouTube+and+is+currently+working+on+a+series+called+%22Hidden%22+that+takes+place+in+Winona.%0A
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Francisco Angel: Profile of a student director

Francisco Angel is a first-year student at Winona State University. He has been producing films on YouTube and is currently working on a series called

Francisco Angel is a first-year student at Winona State University. He has been producing films on YouTube and is currently working on a series called "Hidden" that takes place in Winona.

Nicole Girgen

Francisco Angel is a first-year student at Winona State University. He has been producing films on YouTube and is currently working on a series called "Hidden" that takes place in Winona.

Nicole Girgen

Nicole Girgen

Francisco Angel is a first-year student at Winona State University. He has been producing films on YouTube and is currently working on a series called "Hidden" that takes place in Winona.

Blake Gasner, Features Reporter

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Winona is home to all sorts of creative individuals. One standout person from that expansive list is none other than freshman amateur filmmaker, Francisco Angel, who is currently amidst projection on the new YouTube series, “Hidden,” which is making waves around campus.

When asked about his current project, Angel offered up a very interesting synopsis of what viewers are in for.

“‘Hidden’ is a short miniseries, made up of ten episodes, approximately eighteen to twenty minutes each. It’s about college students, here in Winona, who find out they have superpowers, and basically, Winona is discovered to be a hotspot for people with these powers,” Angel said. “The difference between this and regular shows is their powers are very dumbed down, and (the characters) don’t know how to use them yet. They also don’t want to become superheroes. They’re just legitimate college students who want to discover who they are and what the extent of their abilities might be.”

In other words, the series is very grounded. Don’t expect it to obey the usual genre conventions. In fact, Angel further emphasized the boldness of his storytelling by saying, “I’m not scared to take the story into territories that are really dark and not your stereotypical happy Hollywood ending.”

Creating a project of this scale as a full-time student is not easy. Angel explained the challenges such a task brings about.

“I sound bad, I don’t like sounding really selfish, but I’m the director, writer, editor, producer and one of the actors. On top of this, I also have to worry about setting the times and scheduling when to film,” Angel said.

Shooting his script chronologically is not an option for Francisco. He has the added challenge of traversing his whole cast’s class schedules, as well as his own.

“We might film for three hours and it will only end up being a total of three minutes on screen,” he says, offering up a chuckle that enforces the absurdity this kind of hard work can bring about. “Everyone has different schedules, so I have to be very flexible and ask what day they will be available.”

The director who Angel looks to for inspiration the most is Joss Whedon (“The Avengers,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”).

“He has a history of great storytelling and, for me, that is the most important piece of a film,” Angel said.

In order to keep his creativity fresh while creating his stories, Angel likes to keep his mind loose.

“I’ll have two tabs open when I’m writing. One will be the pages where I’m writing, and the other will be YouTube. So every half hour I take a YouTube break, and either I listen to music and relax, or I’m watching vine and funny videos,” Angel said. “I take this time to let my brain relax so I don’t strain it when it comes to writing. I do sometimes take breaks to sing a certain line of a song I’m listening to, too.”

If he does not make it into the film business, Angel has another idea on what he wants to do.

“I have a slight back-up plan, and that is to become a psychiatrist because I like to help people and understanding psychology really helps me when I’m writing my characters. I get deep when I write the characters. I feel what they feel,” Angel said. “Overall though, I’d like to be a director, while also becoming an independent psychiatrist so I could see people in my house if I wanted to and don’t have to be confined to a schedule that will contradict with me working on my projects.”

Considering he is still a first-year, the aspiring filmmaker is mostly focused on the current projects he’s immersed in here in Winona.

“Next year I’ll be even more ambitious. I can’t guarantee it’s going to happen, but I do have a storyline for season two of ‘Hidden,’ as well two ideas for two other web series here on campus. I’m not slowing down anytime soon,” Angel said.

On top of this, Angel also explained a bubbling idea he has for a new club on campus as a side project.

“I’m also looking at the end of this year to form a short film club. The purpose of this club would be to build a community of actors, directors, writers and music composers in one place. If a writer has a script and a director finds it interesting, they can work together. It would be an area of support where people can create their own content and I’d just be there to help alongside whoever else is interested,” Angel said.

About the Writer
Blake Gasner, Film Reporter

Blake Gasner works as the current film critic for the Winonan. He is in the midst of his first year with the paper, but his love for cinema is years in...

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