In 2015, a team comprised of four Southern California schools won second place in the Engineering portion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition. The team, Team Orange County, was quoted as the most innovative collegiate group the competition had ever seen, missing the first place award by just one point. Team Orange County was also the competition’s largest team, including students from Chapman University, UC Irvine, Saddleback Community College and Irvine Valley College. Their vast accomplishments within the competition brought incredible honor to their prospective universities.

And their feats didn’t stop at the conclusion of the competition; once the competition ended, Team OC began an exciting new venture.

The momentum of the Decathlon’s events stirred the team to reach new heights. Piggybacking off the Decathlon’s multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach to project creation, Team OC was inspired to create a film documenting their invigorating journey.

A few months before the Solar Decathlon competition began in mid October (2015), Team OC began documenting the experiences of four team members, each from their perspective schools. The film recorded the trials, tribulations, obstacles, successes and triumphs the diverse and eclectic team experienced during the competition.

The documentary crew was comprised of co-directors Kyle Decker and Merced Bacon (UCI), associate producer Kristina Lamb (Chapman, ’16), screenwriter Ariana Jong Chapman, and cinematographers Brennan Miller and Alan Chun.

In regards to making the construction of their house into a documentary, Lamb said, “This was too unique of a project and too unique of a time to not document it.” Each challenge the team faced was met with eagerness to find solutions; each obstacle taught them the importance of having a holistic team; and the ups and downs and everything in between created a stirring story to be shared.

The finished film received wide acclaim from the public, resulting in its’ admittance into the Newport Beach Film Festival. This incredible cinematography honor was only awarded to a small handful of student films this year making this feat even more exceptional.

Lamb, Chapman Communications major, was the associate producer of the film and was also responsible for much of the marketing for Team OC, as well as assisting Chapman’s Chief Marketing Officer on the project, Camy Jun. Lamb also brought in Chapman student Kyle Decker who became the co-director, editor, and narrator of the film.

More information about Team Orange County  and their home Casa del Sol:

Watch the video here!