SVSU senior writes, directs, acts in film

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“Crossing Over,” the story of an 18-year-old boy looking to become a minister will be shown for the first time Friday, April 29, at Bridgeport High School


Even though she wrote, directed and starred in her first film, “Crossing Over,” creative writing senior Kimberly Owen doesn’t consider herself a director or an actress.

“I declare myself a writer,” she said. “Directing this project was really cool, and I learned a lot and I really could venture off into (film), but I want to be the best writer that I can be.”

Owen’s journey began in Saginaw. She said she attended Delta College without any real passion for college, citing her parents as the motivation to go to school.

“I was just taking classes at Delta to see what I wanted to do,” Owen explained. “[Then] my friend and I signed up for a screenwriting course.”

It was there she first got a glimpse of not only what she wanted to do, but what she was capable of.

“I turned in my first screenplay, and I felt like it was good and interesting, but I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said. “I remember walking in the hallway, and my professor said to me, ‘Well, look what we have here, a famous screenwriter,’ and he said I was going to be a famous screenwriter someday.”

The moment her professor said she would be famous, Owen said, was the start of when she began to realize she had potential.

“He gave me such good feedback off from that first script that it really ignited something in me,” she said. “Just being told I had potential at something, and if I worked at it I could be good, really did something for me.”

After spending time at Delta College, Owen transferred to Howard University, where she majored in English literature. After a short stay, she returned home for personal reasons. In time, she turned her focus onto a short story she had written in 2012 while at Delta.

The story was called “Crossing Over,” and, after a suggestion from one of her professors, she decided to turn it into a screenplay. Friday, April 29, the finished product will be shown for the first time at Bridgeport High School.

The film details the life of an 18-year-old boy who is about to become a minister. On the night before his first sermon, two of his friends try to convince him that he doesn’t really want to be a minister, and that he is instead blindly following his father’s footsteps.

“My father is a pastor, so I know the background of church a lot of people don’t see,” Owen said. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about ministry. We have a lot of stereotypes about strict pastors or hypocritical pastors who don’t live what they’re talking about, and this movie explores that as well.

“I just wanted to take some things from my background growing up in the church and explore that in this film,” she added.

The film is Owen’s first chance to show her work. In the past, she has worked with film in various ways, including editing other screenplays, working as part of the light crew and even holding the boom microphone.

Things were set in motion when Owen was contacted by Saginaw music video producer Desmond Laury, who was looking to move away from music videos and into film.

She said she did not want to pass up the opportunity to see her work on display.

“I don’t know of anybody who wants to be in film and doesn’t want their own work to be created,” she said.

Complications presented themselves when the first three people Owen had audition for the role of lead actress didn’t quite meet her expectations. After being pushed by her father, she went from not only being the writer and the director but also the lead actress of “Crossing Over.”

“I have two acting classes this semester, and two last semester,” Owen said. “I’ve taken the things I’ve learned and incorporated them into this film.”

Now, on the brink of the showing for her first movie, Owen believes what her screenwriting professor told her; that she will be successful. While she hasn’t decided which avenue to take with her writing, Owen said she’s leaning toward screenwriting.

“I want to immerse myself into whatever can help me be a great story-teller,” Owen said. “I’ve taken every film course Delta offered, and I studied film when I was in school (at Howard University). I’m also exploring fiction and nonfiction now. I just like telling stories.”