SAGU student film 'Under the Sun' to premiere at Waxahachie ShowBiz
Waxahachie, Texas — October 16, 2012 — "Under the Sun," the newest Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) student film, will premiere on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at ShowBiz Cinemas 12 in Waxahachie, Texas. Several behind-the-scenes videos will also be presented. Tickets will be available for $5 at the box office and through showbizcinemas.com and movietickets.com.
The short film was written by SAGU senior Taylor Johnson and directed by 2012 graduate Krystle Sonmore. The film explores the theme of navigating life when the unexpected happens. Johnson says, “I wanted to write about the universal feeling that comes after a traumatic event — when you just question everything." He continues, “Most people have been through something traumatic, so I wanted to explore the part of life that doesn’t always make sense on the surface.”
A deadly shooting spree on a high school campus sets the tone for "Under the Sun." Jacob, played by SAGU student Michael Bell, and his teenage friends struggle to make sense of the violence. Six years later, Jacob reconnects with high school crush Lindsey, played by student Alyssa Whitmire, and a romance is kindled. When tragedy strikes the school again, leaving Lindsey’s father critically wounded, Jacob’s growing love for Lindsey and his quest for meaning in life are put through the ultimate test.
Casting for "Under the Sun" was done through the university and through Waxahachie-based talent agency Linda McAlister Talent.
A week after directing the film, Sonmore began her full-time career as a weekend sports anchor/news reporter for KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Colo. She says that leading the film crew was a perfect educational send-off from SAGU. “The process of developing vision, rehearsing actors, drawing storyboards, directing a set and editing assisted me in developing more leadership and organizational abilities.”
ShowBiz Cinemas CEO/President Kevin Mitchell was enthusiastic about premiering the SAGU student film . “I was thrilled when SAGU approached me about our theater serving as a venue,” Mitchell said. “It’s a great way for local business and local education to create community here in Waxahachie.”
The cast and crew will receive "the red carpet treatment" during the premier event. “We’re treating this night like a real Hollywood premiere,” says SAGU senior Britta Johnson, who is coordinating the event. “To have our film screened for the first time at ShowBiz is going to make the night that much more authentic for us.”
Executive Producer Rob Price is a faculty member in the Communication Arts Department at SAGU. He credits much of the success of SAGU’s award-winning student films to the preparation phase leading up to the production. He explains, “We require the crew to take a three-month course in the spring that is completely dedicated to pre-production. It equates to hundreds of man hours before the two-week shoot in May. Those numbers closely match how Hollywood films are produced, although on a slightly smaller scale.”
"Under the Sun" is the university’s third summer film and fifth major production in the past five years. Previous SAGU student films have received numerous awards. The team for “Murdoch” received three awards at the WorldFest Film Festival in Houston, Texas. The film won a Gold Award (2nd place) for all Short Film Cinematography and two Platinum Awards (1st place) for Short Film Editing and Short Film Screenwriting. Earlier this year “Murdoch” won 3rd place for Student Productions at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. It recently won “Best Short Feature” at Minnesota’s On the Edge Family Film Festival.
SAGU Cinema’s first film “Breaking News” received Best Cinematography for Short Film at the World Fest Film Festival in 2009. “Breaking News” broadcast nationally on NRB network, TCT network, TBN network and the Australian Christian Channel.
SAGU expects construction on the World Communication Center (WCC) to be completed in the fall of 2013. The recent growth in the Communication Arts and Music Department and SAGU’s new status as one of just 120 “All-Steinway” schools in the world has also fueled demand for the new academic building.
The 79,000 square foot two-story structure will offer students state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for cinematic, broadcast, theatrical and music productions. The facility will house a performance arts auditorium, black box theater, TV and film studio, audio recording studio, digital video editing lab and suites, piano lab, music library and listening lab, music practice rooms, classrooms, rehearsal halls, film screening/preaching and speech labs, offices, concessions, café, workshops, dressing rooms and more.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.