It’s always inspiring to hear about the moment someone’s creative spark ignited. For a stylist, it may have been while chopping off Barbie’s hair. For a painter, it could have happened while scribbling with crayons all over the bedroom walls. For Saint Rose sophomore and 15 Minutes Max finalist Sam Lund, his moment came six years ago with the discovery of iMovie. He was in middle school and was instantly drawn to the rush of creating.
“Today it’s a simple program,” Sam said. “But when I started in eighth grade, it was so much fun to play with and create something that people actually enjoyed.”
Sam’s film, Room 121, fits into the horror genre, but it’s definitely inspired by reality. Communication majors at St. Rose are very familiar with that particular classroom in the Hearst building. Sam depicts the room as a place in which the main character is trapped and invisible. Fellow classmate Theodore Stabile plays the doomed college student while Kate Pierce’s character is an unintentional heroine…and victim.
When asked to give the synopsis of his film, Sam said it’s about a student on a deadline who mysteriously becomes locked inside room 121. Students walking by don’t seem to notice him pleading for help. As he struggles to get out and fights against the forces keeping him locked away, he realizes he is fighting a losing battle. The filmmaker teased, “Will he get out? Or will he become one of the very spirits that trapped him there?”
As an eighth grader, Sam was drawn to special effects and would make clips of people flying and holding fire. He could always rely on his family to sit through rough drafts and offer ideas or fresh perspectives.
“They push me to do the best I can, no matter what, and I love them for that,” said Sam.
That kind of encouragement pushed him to enter the festival. This year is the first time Sam submitted to 15MM and he’s hopeful to walk away with the victory. The cash prize is $200 and he already knows what it will go toward: better equipment and software to enhance the quality of his work. He certainly wins the dedication award.
Regardless the outcome on October 7, Sam’s goal is to continue to tell stories through film while incorporating his own experiences.
“I love to manipulate reality and usually try to incorporate some type of special effects into my films,” he said. “I have gotten better at combining real world with my vision.”
Sam’s favorite role in the film making process is that of editor. He finds joy in watching all the clips come together and seeks the undeniable satisfaction of creating a one-of-a-kind piece of work. Sam compares the progression to putting together a puzzle and aims to produce unique results.
A key piece to Sam’s winning formula is planning. He has learned how essential that quality is to film making and always strives to be one step ahead of anything that could go wrong. This knack for preparation will surely be appreciated by future employers.
“My dream job is to work in television production,” Sam explained. “I have always loved working in a TV studio and love the pressure of real time production. If that doesn’t work out, I would like to work as film editor.”
Wherever Sam ends up, we should offer encouragement to persevere. He is committed to making unique pieces of art that, while perhaps freaking us out a little, will strive for two thumbs up.
“Seeing reactions to my films and videos are what motivate me to continue down this path and let me know I’m in the right place.”
Wise words for a 19-year-old.
Signing off for one last Saturday night before the semester,