Summer Student-Athlete Update: Erin Riegel

July 26, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. - If UCF rower Erin Riegel were asked to do an essay on the topic of what she did on her summer vacation, she could easily write a novel or it might be better stated that she could produce a feature film.

A senior in the university's film program, Riegel kicked off the summer doing freelance film editing for a Maryland production company. Over the past two years, she served as intern there assisting in the making of Trip Flix, a children's travel series. In June, she aided in cutting trailers to try to sell the show to the Discovery Channel and other entities.

Riegel moved to her second project in July, traveling to Kanab, Utah where she and fellow UCF rower Eleni Roussos are members of the production design team on the independent film Monster in the Attic. Riegel is the film's art director.

"I am basically the production designer's right hand man," said Riegel. "We're in charge of the overall look and feel of the film, everything from set design to props. As art director, I am able to give my input and give final approval."

Riegel first became involved in the film during the spring of 2006 when she made a presentation to director Danny Daneau, who is in his second year of UCF's new three-year master's degree program. She was tapped for the position after the original art director couldn't meet expectations.

Daneau's first feature length film, Monster in the Attic is set in the American West and tells the story of two young siblings left alone in house when they discover that there is something in the attic. It stars Adair Tischler (Heroes, Saving Grace) and Jake Johnson.

"Being involved in this film is an amazing experience," said Riegel. "Having a feature-length film on my resume is important in this business. I am grateful that Danny gave me the opportunity."

The days on the set are long and exhausting as the job involves large amounts of physical labor - lifting and moving props. Even so, Riegel and Roussos have tried to find the time to keep in shape for the upcoming rowing season with early morning jogs coupled with other methods of cross-training. Riegel was a member of UCF's varsity eight boat that earned an at-large bid to the 2007 NCAA Championships, while Roussos, who wants to pursue a career as a producer, rowed with the second varsity eight.

Meanwhile, Riegel is also in pre-production on her own project as she needs to make a pitch for a capstone grant when she returns to campus in the fall.