Lights, Camera, Action! : Mass Communication students create short film

Graphic by Alex Miller

Graphic by Alex Miller

Alex Miller, Staff Writer

At the beginning of spring semester, the students in the Special Topics: Film Production mass communication class couldn’t fathom undertaking the gigantic assignment of filming a short movie in just one semester. However, as they came to the end, they viewed the mountainous task as an exciting learning experience.

The film, written by sophomore English major, Julia Kucklow, is about an alien, named Zack, who comes to earth. Appearing as a normal human being, the alien is forced to adapt to his new atmosphere. He befriends a family and has to learn to be like them in order to avoid being exposed by Jake Tyler, the one person who knows his true identity.

Director of the production, Tyler Byers, said, “Our professor, Shur Gopal, wanted to make this project as practical as possible. It’s definitely a big challenge. While it’s for a grade, we really just wanted to grow and learn more about film.”

At the beginning of March, the team sent out a casting call via campus-wide email. Despite all the talented students on NGU’s campus, Byers said the casting process was tough.

“We had a great response on our casting call," he said. "We had over 10 people show up and they all did really well. We had a hard time choosing who would be in it.”

The team is shooting the film all over campus as well as 15 minutes off campus at a team member’s family’s house.

Byers said, “The underlying message is really about loving people for their character and not where they come from or what they appear to be. Throughout the film, you really see the family connect with him [the alien].” He continued, “If they knew he was an alien, they wouldn’t have been friendly to him because he would be considered an outsider. So it’s really about grace and caring about people and getting to know them; it’s about giving people a chance to show the beauty of their character.”

Everyone on the team is new to this experience, and while it seems daunting they’ve taken on the challenge with full force. As for its release, the film is projected to be completed on April 23. The team is unsure about whether the film will be available for open viewing, but they’re considering it.

Byers said, “Our goal going in was ‘Okay we’re all very inexperienced with film and we want to learn as much as we can.' In the beginning, we had no plans to share it, but now we are considering posting it online for people to see.”