Can a Bunch of Kids Thrill Moviegoers with "Red Line?"

Can ambitious Catholic college students from San Diego's tiny John Paul the Great University succeed as moviemakers? Come and see, say director Robert Kirbyson and the film's producer, Chris Riley, who also happens to be their professor.

Can a bunch of San Diego college students pull off a thriller disaster film? Yes, says Robert Kirbyson, director of “Red Line,” which takes place in a mangled subway car underneath the streets of Los Angeles.  

It releases July 23rd on DVD -- July 9 at a Red Box near you.

Crewed almost entirely by student interns at a tiny Catholic school — John Paul the Great University — it’s a film that industry professionals said couldn’t be done. How could a little school have the budget for a disaster flick? Even if the college could handle  production logistics, how could a bunch of kids have any hope of attracting a star cast or turning out a professional-looking movie?

Professor Chris Riley says the kids were up to the challenge — and rose to the occasion.


Nicole Gale Anderson in “Red Line.”


And, notes, Kirbyson, they were able to draw two lead actors – John Billingsley, perhaps best known as Dr. Phlox on the TV show “Star Trek: Enterprise”  and Hannah Montana’s Nicole Gale Anderson.

Billingsley has also appeared in the film “The Man from Earth” (2007) as well as episodes of “Scrubs,” “The Mentalist,” “24” and other television shows. Anderson, 20, was in the movie “Jonas” (2007), “Mean Girls 2” (2009) and “iCarly.”

This low-budget ($200,000) film was a challenge, says Kirbyson. Back in 2010, producers Riley and Dominic Locco, both professors at the little Catholic university, challenged students to come up with script ideas that could be filmed at the school’s new sound stage.


John Billingsley in the disaster film “Red Line.”

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