Our celeb of the week is someone I’m sure you’ve all heard of (thanks at least in part to the Smith Jackson email) – recent graduate Jay Light, scriptwriter and director of “Rocketeer,” the short film he created for the Sprite Films competition. The film won the Consumer Choice award, and the crew, including Jay Light, will soon be heading down to Universal Studios as part of their prize!
So how did you hear about the competition?
Jay: I heard about it first when the Sprite team came to Elon last spring, during my junior year. When I heard we were eligible to enter the contest again senior year, I jumped at the opportunity.
What was your inspiration for the script?
Jay: My inspiration was from being a nerdy guy who liked rockets back in the day. I used to be a Boy Scout, and we took a campout every year where we just launched model rockets the whole time. I figured it’d be a good thing to throw into a fairly standard boy-meets-girl type of story.
How did it feel when your script was one of the final six chosen?
Jay: It felt amazing when I found out I was a finalist. I knew it would be a chance for me to prove myself as a great writer and director, and also a chance to help put Elon on the map a little more.
You won Consumer Choice! What are your plans?
-Now that we’ve won, I’m even more ecstatic. I get to go to Universal Studios in Orlando in a couple months for a special screening of Rocketeer in front of people from Sprite, Universal Pictures, and hopefully some other pretty cool places that may help me out in the future to get a solid film career going.
What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
Jay: The most rewarding part was definitely the production process itself. Getting to work with a fairly sizable crew and with a budget that I hadn’t even fathomed I’d work with until after college – $15,000 – was really awesome, and really made it that much cooler when it came to bringing “Rocketeer” to life. Plus, now I have much more experience working on a bigger shoot than I would have had I not been picked. Always a plus!
How was this experience helped you since graduating?
Jay: Since graduation, this has really boosted my confidence as a writer. I’m working hard on my second feature script and hope to have my third done as well before the end of the year. It’s also been great experience to have on my resume, of course, and helped me land an internship in the production department on a feature film shooting out here in LA.
Any advice for aspiring filmmakers or just Elon students in general?
Jay: My advice to aspiring filmmakers/students is to take chances. Sometimes things will present themselves that are too good to pass up. Don’t be lazy, be proactive. You are in control of your success, and if you don’t take action you’ll never get anywhere. Write. Create. It can be as simple as that.