Comm Dept., students aim high with “DRIFT” – By Caleb Chandler

Photo credit: Jonni Lundy

On April 29 at the final chapel of the school year at The Master’s College, a scientist will wake to find himself alone in space.

The science fiction short film, “DRIFT” was created by students of the college from multiple classes in the film branch of the school’s Communication Department. Scripted by a team taking professor Matt Green’s screenwriting course, the film is the largest and most ambitious production to come from the department since it began offering courses in film more than 15 years ago.

“DRIFT” was shot at Laurel Canyon Stages on the last spaceship set in Los Angeles as part of recent efforts to enhance the production value of the films created at the college.

“We’ve really upped the scale of everything,” Green said.

Green hopes “DRIFT” will raise the standards of student filmmaking.

“We’re trying to erase that stigma,” Green said. “So you get rid of the ‘student’ and it’s just a short film.”

Joined by professionals from the entertainment industry, the 30 students completed all shooting for the film in one day. “DRIFT” stars SAG film and television actors Patrick Levis, Jay Underwood and Anthony Tyler Quinn, along with TMC student Callie Hallman and TMC staff member Mike Davis (also a SAG member). This production marks the on-screen debut for Hallman, whose previous acting experience has been in theater.

“The biggest thing that threw me off was [that] there was a lot more freedom because you can have multiple takes,” Hallman said. “…You have a lot more freedom to do what you think the character would do in that situation. It’s not all choreographed… It was so much fun. Especially the dying part.”

“DRIFT” attracted the attention of TMC’s administration, with Executive Vice President, Dr. Lee Duncan and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. John Stead visiting the set. Green and Communication Department Chair, professor Bob Dickson, believe the film will launch the Cinema and Digital Arts emphasis to new heights. With students from several Communication courses connected either to the production of the film or covering the process, the film is fulfilling part of Dickson’s vision for the department’s future.

“It’s the next step in our plans within the department to see separate course working together to create something that none of them could do on their own,” Dickson said. “We did that last year with these short films, but this year we really took it to a new place.”

By Caleb Chandler

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