A Troy University student has written, directed and produced a completed short film, which he recently publicly debuted online.
Hayden Glass, a senior broadcast journalism major from Dothan, directed and wrote “All Is Calm,” a short-film project that has been in the making since the spring of 2015.
The film features Troy theater majors Sarah Hunt, Jermaine Van Buren, Sean Birkett and Vincent Rosec.
“The message I wanted to send was that, even in this terrible situation, you can find some joy in some way,” Glass said. “Even if it’s not the outcome you want, there’s always some kind of joy to be found.”
Glass said that the project had been filmed once before, and the completed project is his second filming of the script.
“The first time, editing was just a long battle and a headache,” Glass said. “This time I had a lot of new equipment, I had learned from the mistakes I made the first time—it was just better overall.”
The film follows the life of Sarah, a young mom involved in prostitution, as she struggles with her ex-boyfriend to make arrangements to see her son for Christmas.
Sarah Hunt, who played the main character, said that she relates to the character beyond their shared first name.
“She has a tendency to blame other people for her problems, and I also do that,” said Hunt, a senior theater major from Huntsville. “This film tells a story about a person that you wouldn’t normally get a story about . . . you don’t always see stories about prostitutes. “I think it’s important to get perspectives from people you don’t typically interact with.”
Hunt said that there are vast differences between acting for the stage and for camera.
“In film, you have to be a little more subtle, and you get multiple tries,” Hunt said. “It’s not like in theater, where if you screw up, that’s it.”
Hunt performed in the previous version of the project as well, and Glass said he enjoyed working with her both times.
“A lot of times I didn’t even know what to tell her because she performed how I wanted,” Glass said about Hunt. “She’s just super easy to work with.”
Coordinator and Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Rich agreed that the two acting forms were very different.
“How we act in theater is overkill for film,” said Rich, who served as director of photography on the film. “On stage, we see everything; in film, we see what’s in the frame.”
The only faculty member involved in the project was Rich, who serves as faculty adviser of the Cinematography Society, the film club on campus.
“The director of photography is basically the person who deals with the visual aspects of the film,” Rich said. “You could think of them as the lighting designer for a film, but they’re also dealing with how every shot is framed.”
Rich said that he was eager to work with Glass on the project.
“I’ve known Hayden for a long time and I’ve known his work, but I really wanted to see how he worked,” Rich said. “I wanted to open him up to possibilities.”
The film was produced by Glass and Sarah Gambles, but the help of numerous students was needed to see the project to the end.
Rich and Glass said the Cinematography Society was a good opportunity for students interested in working in different aspects of film.
Rich said nothing should hold you back.
“What’s stopping you?” Rich said. “One of the Oscar nominees from last year was shot on an iPhone 5.”
The short film was released on Saturday, Jan. 14, and can be watched on the project’s Facebook page “All Is Calm.” Anyone interested in joining the Cinematography Society can visit its Facebook page.