Colton Davie, '10, Los Angeles, CA

Colton Davie, '10, Los Angeles, CA

Favorite Class: Silent Film

Favorite Film watched while here: Sunrise: A Song of Two Hearts, 1927 by F.W. Murnau.

Favorite Student Project: Animals

Doing Now: Living in LA, working as a Cinematographer & Camera Assistant, plus running a small production company, Open Light Picture.

Current Projects: Producer and Cinematographer of short film, Jesus Fish, and Cinematographer of feature length film, The Father’s Love.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: Classes in Scriptwriting and the History of Film broadened my understanding of film as an art and its big movements, networking through guest lecturers, my internship out in LA, and student productions.

Matthew Samsel, '09, Dayton, TN

Matthew Samsel, '09, Dayton, TN

Favorite Class: Intro to Documentary

Favorite Film watched while here: Nanook of the North, ’22, by Robert Flaherty

Favorite Student Project: Danish Day

Doing Now: Video Editor, Copywriter, Creative Consultant at Video Ideas Productions in Chattanooga, TN. I was brought into the company as a second editor however, as the work load for video lessened, I became more of a script and copywriter for articles, websites, and any literature for Video Ideas online mapping program PointsMap.

Current Projects: PointsMap website and Administration Manual.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: The class of 2009 graduated into one of the worst economic climates. Jobs were scarce, but thanks to the internship I was able to arrange with the help of professor Chris Clark during my junior and senior years, I was able to get employment with Chattanooga film company, Atomic Films, less than a year after graduating. I was able to start paying off my loans as well as save up for an engagement ring and honeymoon. My wife and I are now almost debt free and looking to buy a house. I owe all of that to the education and skills I earned through the Film Option.

Bryan Z. Saylor, '10, Melbourne, FL

Bryan Z. Saylor, '10, Melbourne, FL

Favorite Class: Narrative Writing for Film

Favorite Film watched while here: Through a Glass Darkly, 1961, by Ingmar Bergman

Favorite Student Project: My favorite school project was Maxwell Beasley’s Heart, a video that I co-directed with my good friend Jordan Pilgrim.

Doing Now: I am a video producer for Calvary Chapel of Melbourne in Melbourne, Florida. I work with a team of guys to take all video projects from beginning to end. We create promo videos for various church programs. We also create themed videos for our big events such as Easter, Christmas, or Praise Nights geared at inspiring, teaching, or edifying the body of Christ. I also co-host a podcast – Real Talk: The Pod.

Current Projects: I had a lot of fun creating this motion graphics promo for an NPO created by one of my friends.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: I took Narrative Writing for Film before I graduated, and it was a great class. It was extremely helpful to workshop scripts with my fellow classmates and to hear their input. As a writer, you discover whether or not your script comes alive when it is read aloud. The workshops provided this helpful resource.

Joseph Demme, '09, Lancaster, PA

Joseph Demme, '09, Lancaster, PA

Favorite Class: Intro to Documentary

Favorite Film watched while here: Grey Gardens, 1975, by Albert & David Maysles

Favorite Student Project: You Dropped Your Quarter

Doing Now: I work at Math-U-See as a Transmedia Storyteller, which means working as a videographer, social media, and in branding. I also blog about movies at: CINExcellence.com.

Current Projects: I recently submitted a short film, Eagle’s Fan, to a local 60 Second Film Festival. You can read about it here.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: I watched a lot of good movies, had hands-on learning through the classes and student film projects, and learned a lot about storytelling through the Narrative Writing for Film classes.

Bryce McGuire, '10, Los Angeles, CA

Bryce McGuire, '10, Los Angeles, CA

Favorite Class: European Cinema

Favorite Film watched while here: Night of the Hunter, 1955, by Charles Laughton

Favorite Student Project: You Dropped Your Quarter

Doing Now: I’m finishing up my Masters of Fine Arts in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute as well as being married to my amazing wife, Kait.

Current Projects: Colton and I have a short film in festivals right now that I wrote and directed called JESUS FISH. We shot the film in Dayton with the help of a lot of Bryan folks. I just optioned a feature script that I wrote at AFI and I’m constantly polishing and revising that so we can get actors attached, acquire funding and hopefully get that movie made. I’m also directing a music video this summer that I’m really excited about for my little sister’s band.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: It gave me real-world experience in actually making movies and it taught me to think in terms of story. I was also exposed to a lot of classic films and world cinema. I can’t tell you how important that vernacular is when communicating with producers, DP’s and actors. I think Bryan as a school taught me to think critically, to write with integrity and to vocalize my opinions in a cogent and humane way.

Jordan Pilgrim, '11, Atlanta, GA

Jordan Pilgrim, '11, Atlanta, GA

Favorite Class: European Cinema

Favorite Film watched while here: Almost Famous, by Cameron Crowe, 2000

Favorite Student Project: Maxwell Beasley’s Heart

Doing Now: I’m working at Crawford Media Services in Atlanta, Georgia. We have a new and growing media production department, focusing primarily on commercial production and high end corporate documentary. It’s a great opportunity. I work as the director of photography on all of our shoots, which at its heart is about defining and creating the lighting style used. I also work as camera operator and assist in directing.

Current Projects: Last year, my production group at Crawford competed in the international 48 Hour Film Festival’s Atlanta district. We created a light-hearted romp about two men racing through a warehouse. This little ditty of a film was very well received, and we were awarded with numerous awards including overall audience favorite, and our film was screened at the finals for the competition in Los Angeles.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: During my Sophomore Year, I realized that the only way to truly learn about the act of filmmaking was to make films, to make bad films, and to hopefully with time begin to make films that were less bad (and maybe one day some that were good!). Becoming a filmmaker is a decade’s long process. You don’t walk off campus with a degree and onto the set of your genius feature. It’s a long road of polishing your craft, a process of which I’m still in the infancy.

Phillip Johnston, '10, St. Louis, MO

Phillip Johnston, '10, St. Louis, MO

Favorite Class: European Cinema

Favorite Film watched while here: Three Colors: Blue, 1993, by Krzysztof Kieslowski

Favorite Student Project: Animals

Doing Now: I am currently an MDiv student at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, but for the summer I have come on staff at a branch of L’Abri Fellowship (www.labri.org), a residential study center that offers hospitality and thoughtful engagement to people with questions about Christian faith. It is as close to my dream job as I could imagine.

Current Projects: My interest was always more in film theory and criticism than filmmaking. I have not worked on any films since graduating Bryan, but I spent a few years writing film reviews for the Chattanooga Pulse and have also done some speaking on various topics, often film-related.

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: C.S. Lewis says that great narrative art provides us with an extension of our being in allowing us to see the world through another’s eyes. I was a very cold, cynical person before encountering the world through the eyes of others. The Bryan Film Option, along with some wonderful literature classes, taught me how to do this. As of now, I’m trying my best to walk by faith toward what God has in store for me next.

Justin Kelly, '13, Nashville, TN

Justin Kelly, '13, Nashville, TN

Favorite Class: Field Production

Favorite Film watched while here: Down by Law, ‘86 by Jim Jarmusch

Favorite Student Project: My silent film, Untitled for European Cinema.

Doing Now: Freelance Videography–producing wedding videos, corporate videos, and music videos: thekellysproductions.com.

Current Projects: Clayton and Jesslyn Wedding Recap

How the Bryan Film Program prepared you for life post-Bryan: The most useful thing that I learned during my time in the Bryan Film Option is how to work efficiently, especially with a very small crew. Also, having hard deadlines for class film projects challenged my organizational skills and taught me to plan well in terms of scheduling talent and crew for a production to be sure to make the deadline even if something should go wrong.