Sarah Wilson Thacker (MFA/DR ’13) and Jamie Clevenger (MFA/FTP ’12) directed and produced, respectively, The Many Lives of Ayn Winters pilot for PlayStation’s Emerging Filmmakers Program. The program called for original stories through a competition with creators, and once five ideas were selected, Sarah was hired on to develop the screenplay. Sarah was the first of three Chapman alumni that would be hired to direct a pilot out of a total five.
Sarah made sure to bring on some support from Chapman University for her production, hiring Ryan Broomberg (MFA/CR ’13) as her DP, Brian Hibbert (MFA/SW ’13) as a writer, and Brendan O’Conner (MFA/PD ’12) as design consultant.
Reflecting on their time at Chapman University, Sarah and Jamie pointed out some similarities between their experiences working on their thesis and cycle films. Sarah’s 36-minute thesis film was shot over 11 days which gave her the confidence to shoot a 30-minute pilot over 4 days with PlayStation. Sarah shares that, “getting in the mindset that you really don’t have 7 takes, you have 2, but you want 7,” was a significant learning experience. And just like the crews they worked with at Chapman they both felt that their crew on the pilot was the best. The Atlanta based crew was hired by PlayStation to work across all pilot productions over 5 weeks which meant they would be led by 5 different directors over that time.
The opportunity from PlayStation is one that both Sarah and Jamie relish. They are proud of their finished pilot and appreciate that Dodge College was able to provide them an education to springboard them into the business.
Check out Sarah and Jamie’s pilot The Many Lives of Ayn Winters today!