Media student Riley Bullock has ended his VCE year on a high after being selected for Top Screen as part of the 2016 Season of Excellence.

Riley’s nine-minute short film ‘Carrion’ was one of more than 300 submitted for Top Screen, with only 27 shortlisted and 14 selected for the final exhibition at ACMI in Federation Square.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling to be part of Top Screen,” Riley said. “It’s an idea I first started thinking about in Year 11. I wanted to incorporate aspects of the horror genre, but also make a psychological thriller.”

Media teacher George Querol described Carrion as supernatural horror with a great sense of mystery.

“Riley’s film builds an ominous, almost oppressive atmosphere through his sparse use of dialogue, long takes, and evocative sound design,” he said. “It’s Riley’s first film and a very accomplished piece of movie making.”

Carrion was filmed over an eight-week period in June and July this year, on location in Long Gully. Interior scenes were shot in Riley’s home, with both his mother and his friend Ethan Sortino taking lead roles.

“I really loved the editing process,” Riley said. “It’s something I’d like to pursue in the future, hopefully through a Bachelor of Film and Television at Deacon University.”

Riley’s influences are many and varied. Carrion speaks to James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’, but he’s also a fan of Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ and the photography of Gregory Crewdson.

“I wanted to have the ‘feel’ of a Crewdson photograph in my film,” he said. “The scariest thing is always what you imagine. It’s like once you’ve seen the monster, the fear goes away.”