Local Alum's Film 'Counterfeiters' to Debut on KCET

Laguna Niguel native, Bryce Hirschberg's film, is about a group of college dropouts who come up with a simple way of counterfeiting money. But when they get too greedy, they learn there are no shortcuts in life.

Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television School of Film and TV alum ('12) Bryce Hirschberg’s short film Counterfeiters has been selected for inclusion in Fine Cut: KCET’s Annual Festival of Student Films. The five-week series showcases some of the finest documentaries, comedic, dramatic and animated shorts by students.

Hailing from Laguna Niguel, Hirschberg has seen his share of success the past few years.  Not only was Counterfeiters selected for KCET’s festival, but it received the Best Picture Award in the LMU School of Film and Television’s 2012 Film Outside the Frame Festival, as well as Best Experimental Film in California Film Awards.

His 2011 short film Baer also received multiple awards including Best Period Piece and the 2011 AOF International Film Festival, Best Student Film at the 2011 International Vegas Cine Fest, an honorable mention at the2011 Los Angeles Movie Awards, and the Special Jury Prize at the 2012 California Film Awards. LMU also awarded Hirschberg the Cosgrove Family Distinguished Visiting Artist Endowment scholarship that recognizes "outstanding students who show exceptional and unique promise for continued creative and academic excellence and achievement."

Hirschberg is an alum of Aliso Niguel High School.

Counterfeiters will see its television debut on Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. when it airs part of the Fine Cuts series on KCET’s Open Call- hosted by Suzanna Guzmán.

"Winning Best Picture at LMU's Film 'Outisde the Frame' film festival is probably the greatest honor I have ever received. I love my film school. I know that it's one of the best in the world. I know the kind of talent that goes through there and to be immortalized in their archives as making the best film of the year is an honor that I will cherish forever," said Hirschberg.

"Then, when I received the phone call from KCET I was blown away. When I first started college at LMU my dad told me about this show that was on TV over the christmas break, which he recorded on his DVR. He told me the show presented the best short films from the past year from the best film schools in LA. I watched one of the shorts and it was incredible ...

"At that point I told myself that I would have my film on this show. And to see one of my goals that I set for myself realized is an incredible feeling."

As for his own faves, Hirschberg said it's Catch me if you Can, directed by Steven Spielberg.

"I loved the idea of a young kid finding out a simple way to con the world. I wanted to make movies so I could break laws and do things that I would never actually attempt to do in real life, with no penalty," he said. "Movies are my escape from reality into a world where I could be a lawyer, a doctor, a bank robber, or even a con artist.

"My goal is always to pass along that feeling to my audience and help them escape reality, even if it's only for 10 minutes. After the success of my junior thesis film Baer I needed to direct a follow up that was equally as impressive I felt. So I decided to challenge myself. I wanted to do this entire film in one single take and keep it entertaining- that's how I came up with the idea of filming Counterfeiters in one continuous shot."

He added that he believes audiences have short attention spans.

"Some successful directors of action films feel like they need to increase the number of shots to keep the audiences attention. I wanted to prove that one can do more than edit to keep an audience entertained," he continued. "Drawing from films like Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, I wanted to take the audience on a journey of deception without ever deceiving the audience. I wanted to roll camera, call action, and cut when it was all over, I wanted the audience to witness the entire process."

Check out his trailer: http://vimeo.com/m/57109927


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