Jacobus filmmaker premieres sci-fi love story on YouTube
Watch the movie
What: "Frames: A Handful of Love Stories"
When: 8-9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4
Where: Goodling Park, Loganville.
Tickets: A limited number of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis Saturday, Aug. 1 at Twitter.com/Gerald_Robber .
Online: A live feed of the premiere will be available here on YouTube at 8 p.m. for one hour. The film will be permanently available on YouTube in November.
Q&A: Filmmaker Matt Gaynor will be available for a Q&A via Twitter (@Gerald_Robber) and Facebook beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4.
When you walk on set of one of Jacobus filmmaker Matt Gaynor's movies, it doesn't look like much.
His entire cast and crew consist of about 10 people, and most of his equipment is either borrowed or DIY.
With a budget of $500 from a Kickstarter campaign, Gaynor didn't have the money for a star-studded cast or fancy film equipment, so the 19-year-old got creative.
He made his own lighting umbrellas, camera crane and camera dolly out of construction lights, PVC piping, an umbrella and other household items.
"There's a lot of DIY filmmaking stuff online I learned from," he said.
But for now, the Dallastown High School graduate said he doesn't need more than a $500 budget to make a decent film.
He already released two short films with a small budget in the last few years and received praise from a film festival in Pittsburgh and about 150 others at the premiere, several of whom said they would help fund his next project.
On Aug. 4, Gaynor, now a sophomore at Juniata College, plans to premiere his third short film, "Frames: A Handful of Love Stories," on YouTube and at Goodling Park in Loganville.
This 25-minute film is Gaynor's first (mostly) solo project. He worked as the script writer, director, editor, cinematographer, director of photography, producer and even the main actor.
"I did everything except the score," he said.
This sci-fi film takes place 30 years in the future and tells the story of Lane Broderick (played by Gaynor), his high school sweetheart and how a time machine plays a part in their relationship.
The idea, Gaynor said, was to tell a love story through still images to best capture how memory works
"When I see other films and you see flashbacks of very detailed scenes, it's not realistic to me because when you remember things, you just have little hazy pieces of it that you try to put together to create your memories," he said.
Gaynor's favorite stories to tell are love stories, he said, but not the "cheesy" Nicholas Sparks kind.
"I think (love stories) are the most universal topic for any culture, any age," he said.
"I wanted to create a natural tale of how human interaction would change with such technology without the cheesy cliché effect or anything."
Inspired by a relationship he had in high school and recent sci-fi movies like "Interstellar" and "After Earth," Gaynor began working on the project during his first semester at Juniata College.
In between football practices and classes, he mapped out the story on a whiteboard in his dorm room and often stayed up until 2 or 3 a.m. writing the script.
On weekends, instead of going to frat parties with his friends, Gaynor spent his Saturday nights in the film room watching and studying films recommended by the top critics. Since he doesn't attend film school, Gaynor said he tries to make time to study film on his own time, in addition to taking classes in the integrated media arts and management.
"I take 15 pages of notes per film," he said. "There's a lot of greats who didn't go to film school that are my inspiration."
When he came home for summer break this May, Gaynor said he spent a month finishing his third draft of the script before he received his funding from Kickstarter in June. He then spent all of June and July filming and working on post-production.
Gaynor shot some of the scenes in Huntingdon near Juniata, but most of the film was shot in Loganville, he said.
"I had written it with my hometown in mind," he said.
Some of the spots locals might recognize include Salem Lutheran Church in Jacobus, Lake Redman and Loganville Elementary School.
Gaynor plans to submit the film to the Depth of Field International Film Festival in November, where he hopes to receive funding for future projects. He has ideas for about five new films, but he said he wants to wait to pursue some of them until he has a higher budget for a professional set.
"I want to win Oscars," he said. "I want to be one of the top filmmakers. In my mind, I want to be the best filmmaker of all time."