Local celebrity

Thu, 03/08/2007 - 3:34pm
By: The Citizen

McIntosh freshman makes first foray into film acting

Tori Valencia 1

An interest in filmmaking technology led to a supporting role in the independent film "Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield" for 15 year old Tori Valencia, a life-long Fayette County resident.

Last summer when Valencia, a McIntosh High School freshman, expressed her interest in digital filmmaking to director Michael Feifer of Feifer Productions, she had no idea that he would end up casting her in his latest movie, which is based on the true story of the life of Ed Gein, the serial killer who lived in Plainfield, Wisconsin in the late ‘50s.

Valencia not only plays the part of a local towns-girl in the film, but she gained firsthand knowledge of the new technology of digital movie production. “Digital mediums are used now instead of film or tape, but people still say they are 'filming' or might say 'rolling,'" Valencia stated. "The most surprising part of making a movie to me is how many times a single scene has to be shot," she continued; "I had to do my parts over and over about six or seven times even when no mistake was made. The master scene has to be shot first; then the same scene and lines have to be shot from different positions, from the left, from the right, from the back, and then the close-ups for each actor in the scene." When the movie is edited, the director can chose which angles he likes best.

"I learned that if you pick up a prop like glue or something, and place it on a counter, you have to do it exactly the same way each time, so that if the director changes angles for final cuts, you won't have bloopers where the glue is in one spot in one shot and in a different place in another. "

Tori Valencia 2

Meeting the actors in the movie and watching the makeup artists were other highlights for Valencia. Kane Hodder, who has played Jason in the "Friday the 13th" movies was chosen to play Ed Gein. "This was the first speaking role for both of us," stated Valencia. "Hodder has not had any lines to say in the previous movies he has been in even though he was the main character."

Priscilla Barnes of "Three's Company," Michael Berryman of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and Caia Coley of "Choosing Mathias" are also in the movie. "I was in the makeup trailer at the same time as Hodder ("Jason") and the makeup artist had been a fan of Hodder's since childhood; so years ago the makeup artist had tattooed himself in the same place as he learned Hodder had tattooed himself. I asked where that tattoo was and they both pulled down their lower lip. Things can be strange in Hollywood!" commented Valencia.

The movie depicts the period of time in America when people were shocked to learn that their next door neighbor could be a ruthless killer, the time when rural American began locking their doors. "Although the movie is a horror/suspense film, it is not as bloody or graphic as it could be. Ed Gein was the guy who murdered, robbed graves, made furniture and lamps out of his victim's body parts, and much, much more that is not shown in the movie," said Valencia.

Tori Valencia 3

Valencia is the daughter of Glenn and Kathy Valencia, of Peachtree City, who also landed roles in Feifer’s film. Glenn plays Tori’s father in the film and Kathy plays the role of a dead woman. This won’t be Tori Valencia’s first time on screen, she was part of a story CNN did back in 2001.

"Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield" was released to DVD on March 6.

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