For many of us, movies simply mean a night out with friends and family, or possibly just a couple hours of alone time. But for some, this is their profession; their art form.
Syd VanRoosendaal, a film production student at Salt Lake Community College, and Dylan Lunt, an SLCC graduate, recently joined the ranks of award-winning professional filmmakers, entertaining and sharing their perspectives through moving pictures.
“My first experience with filmmaking was when I was eight and my parents bought me a film camera. I wrote a short script and held auditions at recess,” VanRoosendaal recalled.
Since December 2018, VanRoosendaal and their team have been working hard to finish their movie, “Announcement.”
“It’s a short horror film about two sisters overcoming family trauma. Allison is pregnant and decides to invite not only the father but her estranged sister, Beth, to a family dinner, where she plans to announce the pregnancy. No one expects the family’s beauty could be tied to something so horrendous,” VanRoosendaal explained.
“Announcement” recently gained a lot of attention in the film community, winning three awards: Best Short Film in both the Paris Play Film Festival and the Frostbite International Festival, and Best Score in the Genre Film Festival. The film also received two nominations: Best Horror Short Film and Best Special Effects.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without the crew. It was magical, seeing us all collaborate. Wiley J. Adams, especially. He did the cinematography and editing on this film and he just barely graduated from SLCC. He’s been my right-hand man on many films since we made ‘Paranoid’ together in Channing [Lowe]’s Intermediate Film class,” stated VanRoosendaal.
Due to coronavirus concerns, VanRoosendaal hopes to screen the film at SLCC once it is safe for students.
Lunt’s love for film started as a child, especially with the “Star Wars” franchise. More recently, with some encouragement from his fiancé and grandmother, he began working on a personal project which has been released under the title, “Circadian.”
The film is about a spaceship captain that mysteriously wakes up with his wife and parts of his ship missing. His only companion is an AI system that accompanies him while he struggles to discover what happened to him.
To date, Lunt entered his short film into 23 different film festivals, winning 25 awards. He is most proud of winning Best Picture in the MMXX Foreman Empire Productions International Film Festival as well as winning a Gold Award for production design from the Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles, California.
“Many of the crew are industry professionals and they still treated the project with such respect. I can’t thank them enough. Our actors were amazing and brought my characters and ideas to life,” Lunt said.
Lunt has always had a passion for sci-fi. After getting the idea for “Circadian,” many told him that it was “too much” or “a stupid idea.” But Lunt refused to accept the criticism.
Instead, Lunt pursued his passion, and encourages others to do the same.
“Go for it! One hundred percent! And if you put that effort in and put in the work and hours, anyone will be interested in taking it,” Lunt said.
Lunt continues to express appreciation for those who contributed to his success.
“I would love to give a shout-out to all my friends and family who pushed and supported me during this massive project. It took countless hours to pull it off and I never would have accomplished it without all their help. I also want to give a heartfelt thank you to all my cast and crew. So many people donated hours of their time and energy in making this film possible,” Lunt said. “I hope everyone involved feels a great sense of pride in our film and they have my deepest gratitude for all their hard work.”