Producing a film, even a short film, is chaotic work. Bryce Cyrier, a senior at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, learned this the hard way. Majoring in Creative Producing, he has been working on a short film called
for nearly a year. The film takes place on September 11
and looks at the event from a nine-year old boy’s perspective to explore what Bryce calls the “granular, intimate” details of a family. As a fourth grader in the middle of class years earlier, he didn’t understand when his teacher turned on the news and began to cry. The project emerged when the gravity of Facebook posts and Youtube memorial videos he saw in September 2015 made him recall that day. He then reached out to Facebook friends to ask, “Where were you?” He was struck how everyone had “different experiences, but the same memory.” So he started writing.
OURCA (the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity) became involved late in the game, after Bryce and his team had already raised $15,000 on the crowdfunding site Seed and Spark. The project was well underway when the insurance costs went up because he was working with children on set. Bryce came to OURCA for help with production costs. Kiku Terasaki, a professor of Production Management, wrote a recommendation for the grant. After the competitive evaluation process, the request was approved and the money disbursed.
With the grant awarded from OURCA, Bryce and his team were able to stay on schedule. They wrapped filming in June, and Bryce and director Keegan Mulling are working hard in post-production. Bryce also plans to submit it to film festivals around the country, and then wants to host educational screening in middle and high schools, starting in Southern California. He sees it as “a tool to continue the conversation around 9/11 for a younger generation. We’re not trying to take hard stances on terrorism and peace, but to explore the personal level.”
Despite the production challenges, Bryce sees the whole process as an amazing opportunity to see “a great cast approach the subject matter with sensitivity, and really dig into the dramatic, emotional moments. I was so impressed and touched by everyone’s dedication to the project.” OURCA is proud to have supported not just a creative endeavor, but one with a message that matters. In addition, OURCA is pleased to see that Bryce’s dedication extends to wider dissemination of his project. The film is set to be released in Spring 2017. Like the project on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!
If you’re a student and would like to fund your own research or creative project, head over
to OURCA’s site
and learn about all of our funding opportunities!