The two senior thesis movies revolve around the struggles Emmanuel and Gabriella face when building up their future together. It's easy to fall in love, but it's harder to stay in love and make a relationship work for long years. In the first film, Emmanuel has to secretly leave Gabriella on their seventh-year anniversary to solve his legal problems and keep her away from his troubles. In the second movie, when Emmanuel finally gathers his courage to return to Gabriella 7 years after they separated, things don't turn out as he was hoping. Will their love stand the passing of time?
Although forced to separate due to life’s unexpected challenges, two young lovers seek their way back to each other years later.
My goal is to create art that makes people feel strong emotions. The entertainment industry is built to heal internal wounds and inspire audiences to take control of their lives in times of doubt. I aspire to help viewers perceive love in a better light that could enrich their experiences in life.
The two senior thesis movies revolve around the struggles a couple faces when building up their future together. It's easy to fall in love, but it's harder to remain in love. The two films will help the audience gather a better insight into what it takes to make a relationship work for long years.
Alexandra Savu is a senior student pursuing a BFA degree in Film and Media Arts at Southern Methodist University, originally from Bucharest, Romania. She has been taking on roles such as cinematographer, editor, DIT, sound mixer, and director for various short films and has worked in the postproduction departments for the feature films made at SMU and beyond.
Alexandra has also experience in the industry, having worked as a contractor or freelance assistant editor/sound mixer or graphics designer at different post houses in Dallas, such as 3008 Studios, Charlie Uniform Tango, and Pepelwerk, and has been interning for the past year at NBCUniversal within the cable entertainment and creative marketing department.
Getting to direct, write and produce her thesis films for her undergraduate capstone project is one of the highlights of Alexandra’s career because she has dedicated all her knowledge and efforts to making these movies come alive in the best way they could.
Brianna C. Flores is a senior at Southern Methodist University. She is double majoring in a B.F.A. in Film & Media Arts and a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Arts Management. As a content creator, she works as the undergraduate videographer for the Hunt Institute at SMU and is the official videographer of SMU’s Graduate Entrepreneurship Club.
Brianna is also the lead editor for the SMU Summer Feature Film named, I Want a Body of my Own, a film about switching bodies. She also edited around 3 other short films in her time at SMU.
In her free time, Brianna trains her passion of taekwondo and helps as an instructor. Trying new foods and restaurants in Dallas are also an enjoyment.
Cullen Blanchfield graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2020 with a BFA in Film & Media Arts major and double minored in Advertising and Arts Entrepreneurship. He has over six years of film and advertising experience from freestyle academy of Communcation, Arts and Technology, SMU Meadow's School of the Arts, and SMU Termerlin School of Advertising.
Cullen created multiple short film productions, including a couple of his own for a thesis film, worked on a feature film set, and also multiple professional corporate commercial sets. He currently works in his freelance production company called CJB Productions and also works as a cinematographer at SCPictures in Dallas, Texas where he engages in worldwide productions as a head crew in the camera department.
He strives to create films that connect with the viewer emotionally through his keen awareness of people. With the thesis films, he is excited to capture on camera the fragility and intimacy of lovers in tense moments.
Zachary Ruwitch (Editor, Assistant Director, Producer) is a senior at Southern Methodist University. He is studying Film and Media Arts (B.A.) with a minor in Business and Photography. He has been doing commercial video editing for the Tampa Bay Times and enjoys getting on set as much as possible, whether that be in key roles on student films, or Production Assistant work when available. He wishes to continue gaining on set experience, although he believes his heart lies in the post production world.
Lexie Shamir (Writer, Director, & Producer) is a senior at Southern Methodist University pursuing a B.F.A. in Film Production and minoring in Advertising. A two-time Stars of Tomorrow Film Festival Award of Excellence winner, a finalist for the Worldfest Houston Festival, and a finalist for SMU's Feature Film screenwriting contest, Lexie has written, directed, and produced several short films and commercials. She interns for SMU's social media marketing department, and freelances as a screenwriter, videographer, editor, and photographer. She hopes to continue writing and directing films throughout her career.
Travis Messersmith is a filmmaker from the DFW area, groomed in grip and electric, but wanting to pursue a career in directing and cinematography. Starting on the stage he learned to love provoking emotion from an audience, and after his first intro to film class he was for better or worse addicted to the world behind the camera. He has written and directed six short films, worked for HGTV and ABC, and has survived the pandemic. He is very excited to bring the light to this project and play around with the different tones and tints of color that leave an emotional impact on the audience. He is also very excited for the black and white film where he has researched the best methods to use lighting for creating the vintage, mystery, romance tones aligning with the story’s message.
Parker Watts graduated from SMU in 2022 with a BA in Film and Media Arts, a BBA in Finance, and a minor in History. In his time at SMU, he wrote and directed two original short films, as well as working in a variety of roles both on set and in post-production for other short films including producer, sound mixer, gaffer, and assistant director. His main focus is his work as a re-recording engineer/mixer where he currently has multiple short films and a full feature dialog edit in his portfolio. He currently freelances as a sound mixer and interns at Double Life Films as a post-production intern, building on two years of experience with finding and telling stories at Universal Music Group's °1824 marketing division, where his passion for music and sound drove him to connect label-priority artists with their audiences. As our sound mixer, he is excited to support a project that will look great and hopefully sound better!
KC Chambers is a senior at SMU studying Film and Fashion Media. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chambers has always had a love of performing arts both on and off the stage. KC found her love of film at SMU and has loved working on her peer’s short films. She is a self taught makeup artist, but she has studied at Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles during the summer of 2021. Her TikTok account to grow her audience, reaching 42 thousand followers. She was a featured creator in an advertisement of TikTok and Spider-Man: No Way Home. She hopes to work as a special effects makeup artist in the industry.
She hopes to grow further as a makeup artist for this film by getting more experience working on a live set.
Tyler Chapman is a Filmmaker originally from the D.C. metro area. He is a Film/Media Arts major at Southern Methodist University with two minors in Advertising and Business. His films often explore the darker side of the human psyche utilizing his influences from horror and art-house films with a “D.I.Y.” mindset derived from his love for punk and hip-hop music. He has experience working on several sets for short films and music videos primarily in the camera and production departments. And if he’s not working on films you’ll most likely find him trying to find new films and albums to enjoy.
Social Media Artist
Alexa May (Marketing Director) is a SMU senior pursuing a B.F.A. in Film Production and a B.A. in Creative Advertising. Some of her past festivals include DIFF, Best of Fests Dallas, Asian Film Festival of Dallas, Frame of Mind TV Program, AAHSFF, and the Oak Cliff Film Festival. She works in narrative, documentary, and experimental, and her design work has been awarded national ADDY recognition. Last summer, she produced her first feature film, Smile, hitting the festival circuit Fall 2022. Post-college, she plans to continue working as a junior art director and film director.
Diego Carlos is a SMU senior B.A. Film Production student at Southern Methodist University, excited to work on short film sets in his free time. He loves to dedicate himself to making the best of film lighting in every scene, as he believes colors and exposure have a huge impact on the tones represented through visuals. He is also minoring in German and has experience working at equipment rental places. He is interested in pursuing a career in gaffing upon graduation.
Brett Caroline Butler
Brett is an actress with over 20 years of experience on stage and in film. She can be seen most recently in Miami: A Decade’s Worth and Love Never Fails. She has also performed on stage in various productions and musicals. She has entertained audiences in roles ranging from Eliza Doolittle to Rafiki.
Brett earned a Master of Arts in drama at Texas Woman’s University where she focused her studies on acting, directing, and cultural travel. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Communications and Journalism from Texas A&M University.
Brett currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator at Ennis Public Theatre as well as acting full time.
Matt is originally from the DFW area. After completing a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University, he worked as a software developer for Microsoft Corporation, followed by a career in portfolio management at a hedge fund outside of New York. He can regularly be found on stage or film.
He starred in the short film "Motivation Monday", which was accepted to 16 film festivals and earned him two nominations for "Best Actor".
The Actors Together
production design photo taken during rehearsals
The thesis production went on incredibly well for the 3 days we had and 5 locations we shot in, including a house, a hotel room, a park, and another single apartment. The post production process is going strong as well, with trailers and more promo spots coming soon. Stay tuned!
More updates coming soon...
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