Movie goes to Vegas

Professor’s film premieres at festival

IMPACT — Chris Gaumer stands in front of the theater where the film festival was held. His film “Terrific. With Love.” was well received.

A simple DSLR camera, 500-watt light bulbs and a shower curtain from Wal-Mart. This was the starting recipe for a short film worthy of the Dam Short Film Festival in Las Vegas.

Yet even with such basic equipment, Liberty University professor Chris Gaumer produced his first short film entitled “Terrific. With Love,” which later shared the screen with Academy Award-winning films at the prestigious film festival.

“This is one of my first efforts at short film,” Gaumer said. “It’s a comedy, somewhat drama. It’s pretty funny, but has darker comedic elements.”

Gaumer, a creative writing professor at Liberty, shot the film almost entirely in his apartment. The lead roles were played by his neighbor Gwynne Gardner and Aadam Keeley, both Liberty students.

“It was a blast working with Chris and all the other people who were involved in the film,” Gardner said of her director. “He knows what he wants and communicates it well. He also encourages improv while shooting, which is always fun.”

The basic premise of the comedic drama follows the journey of a couple in a post-fight atmosphere.

Keeley’s character, Josh, awaken to find himself locked in his bedroom, with the words “I’m still mad” scrawled on a window for him to contemplate.

The enigmatically humorous tone is set for the rest of the film, which follows his character’s journey to win back his beloved and regain freedom. In total, “Terrific. With Love,” took six weeks to plan, 10 hours to shoot, and approximately two months to edit.

Regardless of the low budget nature on set, Gaumer kept the atmosphere as professional as possible, which paid off when the film was later accepted into the Dam Short Film Festival.

“I chose to enter the film in this festival because it was just short films,” Gaumer explained. “It was a good test. It got in, and it was a good feeling. It definitely gave the actors and myself more confidence.”

The annual festival is held just Southeast of Las Vegas at the Boulder Dam Hotel. Filmmakers, and their peers from across the country, gather to enjoy short films in a variety of categories.
One film featured in the drama category was entitled “God of Love” and went on later to win an Academy Award.

With his first film well received, Gaumer has already confidently embarked on another film project, challenging his creativity in the world of science fiction with a film entitled, “The Blanket Theory.”

“I think it is inspiring to see someone write a script that they are passionate about, then to put it on film and submit it into a festival for others to see,” Gardner said.

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