“Our crew is made up of our peers, and one of our biggest intentions with this film is to create a piece that is reflective of our Seattle University Film community. It’s a small one, but it’s quickly growing, and we hope that our thesis film is one of the first to lay an important foundation for this program’s future.”- Morgan Rodriguez, Director of Photography
Morgan: My name is Morgan Rodriguez, I’m a Senior double major in Spanish and Film Studies. Aside from my involvement in our Thesis Film, I’m also a visual media representative for Yours In Art, and the Student Campus Minister for Retreats. In my spare time I do a lot of yoga, take a lot of photos, practice my languages, and amuse (annoy) my roommates with my incessant LOTR references.
James: I’m James Cashman, Senior Film Studies major with a Creative Writing minor and the Writer/Director behind Love You Baby. At Seattle University, I work in the admissions office, I co-host of The Harvard Rap Hour at KXSU, and make things up for fun with SU’s D1 Improv Comedy troupe.
Brynne: My name is Brynne McKeen and I am a Senior Theatre and Film Studies double major. My endeavor is to be a Costume Designer for both theatre and film and by graduation I will have been luckily enough to done both here at Seattle University. Outside of school I have been able to pursue costume design within the greater Seattle Community with local artists and am currently the Costume Intern at Seattle Children’s Theatre for their 2014-2015 season.
What is “Love You Baby” about?
Love You Baby is a short film about Steven Rolls; a caregiver who robs corner stores to help pay for his grandmother’s medical care. After a few years of robbing stores in his neighborhood, the money just wasn’t enough. He came into contact with a corrupt cop – Detective Frank Chesterfield – who manages and protects a group of small time criminals for a small fee. With close to 6 years under Frank’s oversight and guard, Steven manages to make the money needed to cover all of his grandmother’s expenses. Having accomplished this, Steven finds himself ready to move on from thieving. Frank explains to Steven that it isn’t so easy, but Steven leaves anyway. Angry and upset, Frank calls upon his go to assassin Sylvia Grace to kill Steven. Once arriving home, Sylvia reviews the information Frank has left for her only to realize the Steven Frank needs killed is the same Steven that left her high and dry after a brief romantic rendezvous. Heated, Sylvia leaves her apartment to confront Steven, and to complete her assignment.
What talents are you contributing to this project?
Morgan: I’m the Director of Photography of the project, meaning that I’m acting as the liaison between the written script and the moving image. My job, as head of the camera/lighting department, is to create the look and feel of the film by carefully creating compositions and shots in order to execute a maximum aesthetic effect. I’m responsible for making a lot of artistic and technical decisions that will ultimately result in how the film looks.
My background in photography and drawing/painting has given me a unique threshold in which to access cinematography, and my transition between the still to the moving image has been nothing but exciting. Granted, there’s a steep learning curve for all of us as we learn how to take our gifts and truly synthesize them, but that’s an imperative formation of our team dynamic. I’ve got nothing but enthusiasm for this production, and I’m looking forward to making it happen.
James: As a writer, I’ve been working on this story for over a year now. The story comes out of my love and interest for gangster/noir films and combines it with my ridiculous sense of humor. I wanted to produce a short script that shocks in its ridiculous humor set in a gangster/noir setting. We’re approaching production now, so lately my focus has been on directing. My main job on set will be to convey and explain the way in which these different characters act and interact with one another.Bringing the story to life on set is my favorite part of filmmaking, and I’m really excited to get the words off the page and into a scene to start playing with the way these characters eat, breath, sound, move, interact etc.
Brynne: I am the Artist Director for the film, which means I am in charge of creating and collecting the physical aspects of the film. I will be designing the costumes for the film, while also overseeing and creating the sets, props, set decorations, and make-up for the film. It is my job to create the world of the film, connecting the actors and locations to the characters and settings of our script, producing a seamless world for the camera to capture.
What do you hope to achieve in creating this film?
Morgan: Individually, I’m hoping to vastly expand my capacity to receive critique from my peers, and wholesomely grow through this experience. As an artist, it’s so easy to emotionally invest in whatever you make, even if what you’re making isn’t that good. I’ve gotten very lucky in the sense that I trust the people I’m working with, and that has created a really honest flow of communication. True critique isn’t the most pleasant thing, particularly when you might feel good about what you’re making, but it’s a healthy reminder that we’re working towards a collective vision. I’m here to learn. We’re all here to learn. And that’s a big, big part of it.
James: We want this film to be an opportunity for students on our campus who are interested in filmmaking or design or sound or editing or acting (and so on) to get involved on what we hope will become a truly collaborative project. This purpose of making this film for the three of us is to graduate with a piece we can use for our portfolios as we embark on the journey of life this spring. We hope this film can be used by multiple people as an example of their hard work and collaborative ability.
Brynne: In creating this film, we truly wanted the opportunity to test our creative boundaries and have a chance to put our best work forward. And more than that we wanted it to be a true collaboration, not just among the three of us, but with our greater Seattle University community and fellow artists. By the time we finish this film in June, we will have been working on this project for over 18 months. This is nothing short of a passion project, filled to the brimmed with incredibly talented emerging artists. We want this processes to be as close to the professional process of filmmaking while still maintaining the creative freedom we enjoy as students. We want to share this creative process and the final product with as many people as we can because we are just so extremely excited to be making this film.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about this film?
We will screen the film no matter what on June 3rd, 2015. Location TBD, but something certainly worth mentioning!