October 21, 2018

Afterlife- A Short Film by UAT Digital Video Students


Afterlife is a short sci-fi film that follows the story of Mort, a lonely and socially awkward grave technician, who spends his days tending to a futuristic graveyard inhabited by AI holograms of the dead. Sadly, all of Mort’s friends and family have passed away leaving him isolated from human contact and in search of a companion. Just as he was feeling more destitute than ever, Lucy, a new resident arrives at the graveyard, but like all the others in the Afterlife family, she is also deceased. Mort’s feelings for Lucy rapidly flourish into love and he is determined to bring her back to life. But what happens is not what Mort had in mind. Check back to watch Afterlife – A Short Film to find out what happens to Mort and Lucy in Spring 2016.

Afterlife is the Student Innovation Project (SIP) for Digital Video students Ceara McSherry who took on the roles of Cinematographer and Producer and Jacob Glass, the Writer and Director. SIP is required for all students at UAT in order to graduate. This group of student filmmakers started with an idea for Afterlife and from there they created the storyline, wrote the script, successfully fundraised with an IndieGoGo campaign and designed and built the movie set by hand.

The IndieGoGo campaign for Afterlife had a goal of $2,000 and with 24 backers, their campaign was 121 percent funded in order to create the film.
See the IndieGoGo page here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/afterlife–5#/story


Afterlife IndieGoGo Campaign

Jacob’s tip for a successful crowdfunding campaign is to have a robust network of people who are willing to provide support and share your information. We also connected with groups who might be interested and asked them to share our campaign. Don’t be afraid to ask people to share and retweet your campaign, you never know who may be interested in helping out!

UAT: Where did the idea for a futuristic graveyard with ghostly AI holograms originate?

Jacob: I was taking Professor Belanger’s Ethics class and we were researching future technologies and ethical guidelines for how humans should or shouldn’t use AI. That’s when I came up with the idea for the AI holographic graveyard.

Producer Ceara McSherry said, “I really liked the premise and wanted to make Jacob’s vision come to life.”

Mort and Lucy

Mort and Lucy

UAT: Tell us more about Mort.

Jacob: Because this story takes place in the future, Mort’s job as a grave technician is really more of a cross between an IT person and graveyard groundskeeper. He’s a lonely guy just looking for a companion.

UAT: What do the AI holograms look like?

Jacob: Each hologram is a digital footprint or replica of that person. It’s almost like a clone, but I’d best describe it as a digital replica.

UAT: Where did you film?

Jacob: We transformed the movement studio at UAT into an apartment and filmed some of the scenes there. We actually filmed during the entire month of July with a total of seven shoot days. We also filmed at parks, apartments and the dirt lot adjacent to UAT. All of us got our hands dirty constructing the set. We used lumber to build a grave and staged the apartment with lighting and lots of props. Our actors looked on point with costumes and makeup.

Building the apartment scene for Afterlife

Building the apartment scene for Afterlife

UAT: What type of support did you have from the DV Faculty?

Jacob: Professor Paul DeNigris helped out with building the set, along with students from every major who came out to help. Professor Craig Belanger read over the script and gave me feedback. Professor Sharon Bolman reviewed the script about a billion times and finally we had something good to work with. It was a team effort to make Afterlife a reality, for sure.

UAT: What is the best part of being a filmmaker?

Jacob: I’m open to trying many different filming styles until I find my calling. Ideally I’d like to be as well versed as I can as a filmmaker. It’s also a challenge to pull resources in to complete the movie, but that’s the fun part of filmmaking – figuring out creative solutions of how you’re going to make it happen.

Producer Ceara McSherry

Producer Ceara McSherry

UAT: What’s next?

Jacob: I am working on the editing stage of Afterlife and we are really excited to launch the film and apply to film festivals. Ceara and I are also going to France for student exchange program next semester. Right now we are figuring out logistics, obtaining passports, acceptance letters and working on getting our visas.

UAT: What movies do you like?

Jacob: All genres. It just has to be well done in that particular genre. I can also appreciate movies if they aren’t necessarily greatest story ever written, but I can appreciate it for what it is as a film.

That’s a wrap!


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