If you recently walked through the campus of Buffalo State, you might have noticed a giant globe-like phenomenon that illuminates purple -- but this is no globe.

You have caught a glimpse of the newest addition to Buffalo State: the planetarium. 

The Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium normally shows images of the night sky and the solar system, but this Halloween weekend, you will find more than just the stars. 

Showing only this weekend and next Friday, the planetarium will be screening a student-made horror film called “Portrait” on a 360 degree screen. 

The showings are free. 

“Portrait,” is a film described as a “paranormal heist film,” and it was filmed and produced by students in Buffalo State’s TV and Film Arts program.

Many students were hesitant to tackle such an extensive project, but four students really took the lead on the film, including Camden Gradwell, Sydney Baker-Hendryx, Matthew Markaze, and Emmaus Namagawa. These four students made the horror film a priority over the summer. 

You may be wondering how you film a movie to fit a 360 degree screen, and it is challenging. The students at Buffalo State had to use special equipment to capture the 360 degree shot, which means that the lights, crew and directors, and other necessary equipment could not be in their normal spots because they were at risk of being picked up by the camera. 

Normally filmmakers are behind the camera, but not this time. The four students that took the lead on this project had to figure out a way to hide those people behind the camera in skillful ways.

Why The 360 Degree Movie?

The idea actually stems from the planetarium director and associate professor of the college, Kevin Williams. He wanted to show more of what is behind the person in a movie, rather than only showing what is in front of that actor, citing that being able to see behind the actor and in front of the actor makes that horror movie just a bit more scary. 

Do you ever scare yourself thinking that someone is behind you? Well this time, there will be; it’s only at the planetarium for their showings of “Portrait.”

Friday and Saturday showings of “Portrait” at the planetarium are fully booked, but they’ve opened up another showing at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5. While the event is free, you must reserve your tickets in advance, and you can do that here

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