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Waxahachie, Texas – December 2, 2016 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Cinema is set to premiere its upcoming film, ” Better Off Jed ” on the silver screen in January of 2017.

SAGU’s Communication Arts department filmed the romantic comedy in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. It features notable SAGU alumnus and comedian Taylor Johnson as the lead actor. This will be the fifth film produced by the award-winning film production unit.

The initial creation of the film dates back to the summer of 2015 through the collaborative efforts of SAGU seniors Timothy Jones, Asia Behrendt, and Alexander deFreitas. Digital Media Arts (DMA) Professor Rob Price approved “Better Off Jed” over the course of several months of revising, storyboarding and editing.

“From the start, we wanted the script to have more of a Christian element to it, so we wrote a deep, dramatic story that was broken up by humorous moments,” Behrendt said. “However, when we brought the script to English professor Dr. Danny Alexander to proofread it, he told us that we had both a Christian drama and a Christian comedy, but we could only pick one. So, we went with the comedy.”

“Better Off Jed” follows the social woes of college sophomore Jed Harris (Taylor Johnson).  Jed has not been able to talk to girls without stuttering for as long as he can remember and recruits his roommate and ladies’ man Phoenix Nash (Tanner Westmoreland) to help him snag the girl of his dreams, Cece Warren (Shea Bagby). She happens to be both a popular cheerleader and best friends with Phoenix’s girlfriend Gabi Mendez (Carine Rice). Through the course of the film, Jed must discover if “getting the girl” is really worth changing what he likes about himself the most.

The principle photography was completed in May of 2016 and included scenes shot at: Ellen’s Amusement Park ( Cedar Hill ), the Cedar Hill Roller Rink , and the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) .

Price served as Executive Producer for the film, selecting a handful of upperclassmen to lead the project. Primary leadership included: Asia Behrendt and Tyler Marie-Evans (Hartmann) as Producers, Timothy Jones as Director and co-writer, Mallorie Lough as First Assistant Director, Emy Chinchay as Production Designer, and Drew Ansohn as Director of Photography. In total, the crew was comprised of 15 students.

“Each of our SAGU Cinema films has had its own distinctive edge to it,” Price said. “This film was our first real stab at a period piece since it is set completely in the mid-90s. On top of that, Better Off Jed fully falls into the comedy genre, ‘the most difficult type of film to make work’.”

Price said he chose Jones as the film’s director because of the quality of work he showed both in prior coursework and his role as one of the co-writers.

“What I really love about the DMA department is that it’s very broad,” Jones said. “When I first came to SAGU, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Because the program allows us to dip our toes in all the different areas of digital media, I discovered that directing is what I want to pursue. The pressure that the DMA classes put on me has definitely shaped me into an individual that can not only create ideas but also know how to make my ideas actually happen.”

“Better Off Jed” will run approximately 35 minutes, and is set to premiere in January 2017 at the Waxahachie ShowBiz Cinemas . SAGU Cinema also plans to show a 20-minute behind the scenes documentary of the film at the premiere. Beginning in mid-January, tickets will be available for purchase at a discounted price online at .

For more information, visit the SAGU Cinema Facebook page or follow them on Instagram at @sagucinema.

About SAGU:
Southwestern Assemblies of God University 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 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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