Arts & Entertainment

The Making of ‘The Gem’

By Jenny Wallace
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Twenty-year-old cinema, television, and media student Cody Hawley has spent the past year and a half working on his feature film “The Gem.” Hawley finally had the opportunity to show his film to the world on Aug. 8, when it was released on his birthday. 

Behind the scenes of ‘The Gem.’

A year and a half ago, Hawley and his friends came together one day and impulsively decided to create a film. Using his previous experience and some ideas from earlier sketches, Hawley came up with the haunted “gem” and created a thriller. 

He started shooting this project in May 2019 and finished filming a little over a month ago. Yet, shooting a feature film is no easy task. While Hawley and his crew filmed everything in less than two months, the price of a movie can be costly, 

“[We] decided to utilize crowdfunding as a way to raise money…we raised $260, which exceeded the initial goal…I then went through my own personal savings to purchase the essential equipment for the project.”

Even with the lack of financial stress, all films come with the ‘x-factor,’ something unexpected that could change or disrupt the making of the film. In Hawley’s case, time kept creeping up on him, and before he could say the word ‘gem,’ his initial release date had to be pushed back, 

“We had some delays, some technical issues as well as some other minor troubles… I didn’t finish the editing process until July of 2020.”

Hawley said it was worth it, though.

“Every project that I work on is my dream project…That is what I am constantly thinking about–day and night. So, when I was making “The Gem,” all I could think about was how much I wanted this film to be made…And now nearly two years later, it was finished, and I could finally move on to my next creation. My next dream project.”

And Hawley is already on his way toward his next big project. Known as “TheCodyNetwork” on Youtube, Hawley is always uploading new videos and is working day in and day out to push out new content. 

But what he wants his fellow filmmakers to know more than anything is this: “Anyone can do it…I made “The Gem” at 18 years old with nearly 30 other classmates…We were all inexperienced… had very little equipment or training, but we were enthusiastic, motivated, and determined… That’s all it takes…Just go out there with your idea, a camera and the drive to make it happen!”

“The Gem” is available on YouTube: