Filmmaker With Idaho Ties Produces Coca-Cola/Regal Cinemas Short 

Stephen Heleker, who produced "Just in Time" for Coca-Cola, graduated from Boise State in 2011

click to enlarge A screenshot from "Just in Time," produced by Stephen Heleker. - STEPHEN HELEKER/COCA-COLA
  • Stephen Heleker/Coca-Cola
  • A screenshot from "Just in Time," produced by Stephen Heleker.
A short work from Boise State University graduate and filmmaker Stephen Heleker is preceding some of the biggest movies of the season this year.

Heleker, who is working on his Masters in Fine Arts in film production and directing at the University of California-Los Angeles, produced the 30-second short film "Just in Time" for Coca-Cola. It features an action film hero who breaks the fourth wall to grab a young moviegoer's Coke. He submitted the film pitch and script for a contest. As one of three winning entries, the short plays prior to many films currently screening at Regal Cinemas.

click to enlarge - Director Xinzhong Zhao (left) and Stephen Heleker (right) made "Just in Time" for Coca-Cola. -  - STEPHEN HELEKER/COCA-COLA
  • Stephen Heleker/Coca-Cola
  • Director Xinzhong Zhao (left) and Stephen Heleker (right) made "Just in Time" for Coca-Cola.
Heleker was selected to create the clip on a $15,000 budget, and worked closely with director Xinzhong Zhao and the Coca-Cola public relations team. It was a fully insured, professional production—and a far cry from his previous work, for which he had to raise his own funds and had total creative control.

"It was a nice change of pace from the scrappier productions we're used to," he said.

The budding director made waves in Idaho in 2013 when he helped adapt, direct and produce award-winning author Alan Heathcock's short story, "Smoke," and he's currently working on a short film in post production that will serve as his graduate thesis.

"Just in Time" runs in theaters through December.
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