A look behind the scenes of the making of the short film ‘Homestead’

The Festival of Excellence arrived at SUU on Tuesday, March 28, and with it came the debut of many student-led projects. One of these projects was a short film made by the advanced film and video production students titled “Homestead.”  

The short film is about a park volunteer named Becky, played by Hannah McKinnon, who becomes friends with an unknown ghost at the park named Sarah, played by Jessika Grimshaw. 

Dylan Dalton, the director, told the audience that the film was a rough draft and spoke in detail about the film’s goals. 

“The purpose of ‘Homestead’ is to inform and educate park visitors about the park’s key themes and attractions and at the same time entertain with a fictitious ghost story about Frontier Homestead State Park,” Dalton said. “Viewers will find that the original homesteader experienced great satisfaction and rewards while living on a homestead and chose to continue that experience in the afterlife.”

After he introduced the trailer for the film, members of the cast went through their individual speeches about their roles and the scene they co-directed.

Liije Li, the director of lighting, thanked his professor Jon Smith for helping him learn more about cinematography.

 “I had zero experience on this before, and Jon helped me a lot on the first day of shooting,” Li said. 

Chris Cha, the continuity director of the film, expressed the difficulty of his role.

“Before shooting, I thought this was going to be easy,” Cha said. “It wasn’t.”

Finally, Isabela De Las Casas, the principal editor, shared her thoughts about the filmmaking process.

“It’s been awesome. Really stressful at times, but mainly awesome,” De Las Casas said. 

The short film will have a full premiere as a part of the park’s 50th anniversary festivities on April 13 at 6 p.m. at Frontier Homestead State Park. For more information about the park, visit its official website

Story by: Max Guerrero
Photo by: Luke McKenzie