Written by: Natalie Allison '13
After a more than six month process, a film written and directed by Jay Light ’12 won the Consumer Choice award in this year’s Sprite Films competition. Light, who graduated with a media arts and entertainment major and a minor in creative writing, began writing the “Rocketeer”script in February to enter the contest.
In March, Light was told his screenplay had been chosen to continue in the competition, and he was awarded $18,000 to make his own film for the contest. With a crew of more than 25 people, in addition to actors and advisers, the film was shot in late April. Light put the final touches on it and submitted it in mid-June.
Along with five other films, “Rocketeer” went public on sprite.com Aug. 1, when voting began. Now that his film secured the top prize, a shortened version will be shown in movie theaters throughout November.
What's Happening@Elon sat down with Light to get the scoop on what the filmmaking process was like and what he'd doing now.
What made you decide to submit a script for the competition?
I decided to enter a script because I felt like I couldn't pass up the final opportunity I'd have to be a part of the Sprite Films program. I wanted a challenge for the last part of my senior year and Sprite Films seemed like the most appropriate one for me to tackle after everything I learned over the course of my time at Elon.
How did the skills you learned in classes and extracurricular activities come in handy during the competition? What were some of those skills you'd begun to master before leaving Elon?
The project basically served as a culmination of all of the things I'd learned about filmmaking and communications as a student: writing, directing, working with actors effectively, leading a crew to execute my creative vision, etc. Writing was the biggest thing I'd been working on mastering — and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.
My time in the School of Communications really prepared my crew and me to tackle a project like this. We have professional level skills, thanks to our classes and extracurriculars, and being able to use those skills to participate in a contest of this caliber was fantastic. I hope our success brings more notability to the School of Communications, the film program at Elon, and, of course, Elon itself!
What are you currently doing, and what are your plans for the future?
Currently, I'm in the last week of production on Fort Bliss, an independent feature film being shot in Los Angeles, where I moved after graduation. I'm working as a production intern, so I have lots of duties: driving our lead actress to and from set every day, assisting the production team in the office, doing location scouting and making runs for food and supplies. It's fun and great experience. I'm looking to keep working in the entertainment world, and would eventually like to write and perform comedy for a living — stand-up, improv, sketch, TV, movies — you name it. I'm currently working on my second feature script with a third in the pipeline.
Written by: Caitlin O’Donnell ‘13
When senior Rebecca Luz enrolled at Elon, she knew she wanted to play a sport, but she didn't want the pressure of college-level athletics. So what to do? Play at the club level.
“Club sports are really designed for students to be able to participate in an activity that they’ve been involved in at some level in both a competitive and or recreational nature," says Peter Tulchinsky, director of Campus Recreation.
The majority of students who participate are those who played sports in high school and want to continue without the pressure of competing at the highest level.
“It’s a great way to meet people,” Luz says, noting she’s made some of her best friendships through the team. “It’s not just about winning. We do love those things, but we also have a great time and we hang out outside of practice.”
Aubrey Wilkerson, a sophomore, had a similar experience when he joined the club baseball team.
"Obviously, not all of us can become professional or Division 1 athletes, so it is great to be able to continue playing at a collegiate level," he says. "Without coaches or regimental structure, there is no penalty for missing practice because you have a project or test. There are no cuts like you would see at a D1 level, but we're all competitive, want to win, and want to make the playoffs."
Aubrey's teammate and roommate, Ben Koffe, played baseball in high school and didn't want to give it up when he came to Elon.
"I wanted to play baseball at a competitive level, but I didn't want to have it consume my college career. Club baseball is the perfect mix of competitive atmosphere and just playing to have fun," he says.
Last year, 946 undergraduate students, or about 20 percent of the student body, participated in the 26 club sports currently available. And for those who don’t find a group to fit their interests? Tulchinsky says students can create their own by working with the Student Activities office.
Seniors Allison Schmidt and Jamie Rudd are captains of the women’s club rugby team and described the team as good middle ground between fun and competitiveness.
“I would probably be going to the gym for an hour or so anyways, so if I can do that with friends, it’s great,” Schmidt says. “I think it’s good to have a social life and a good, healthy exercise life.”
Both Rudd and Schmidt say they hope to continue playing team sports after they graduate from Elon, noting the bonding experience that comes with being part of a team.
“It gives you a goal, something to actually exercise for, instead of getting on the elliptical for however long,” Rudd says.
Tulchinsky says more than 85 percent of students take advantage of the resources offered through Campus Recreation, including intramural activities, Elon Outdoors and individual exercise.
“When you look at the mission of the organization, you see mind, body and spirit,” he says. “Well, to a very large degree, that’s what recreation is, for a lot of folks."
|Nov. 1||Early Decision|
|Nov. 10||Early Action|
|Nov. 16||Fall Open House|
|Nov. 28-29||Admissions closed for Thanksgiving break|
|Dec. 1||Early Decision notification date|
|Dec. 20||Early Action notification date|
|Dec. 23-27||Admissions closed for holiday break|
|Jan. 1||Admissions closed for New Year's holiday|
|Jan. 10||Regular Decision application deadline and scholarship deadline|
|Feb. 10||Watson and Odyssey Program Scholarship deadline|
|Feb. 21||Phoenix Friday*|
|March 7-8||Fellows and Scholarship Weekend|
|March 14-15||Rising Phoenix Weekend (for those accepted under Early Decision and Early Action)|
|March 15||Regular Decision notification date|
|April 4-5||Phoenix Fusion|
|April 5||Open House for juniors|
|April 11||Phoenix Friday*|
|April 25-26||Rising Phoenix Weekend (for those accepted under Final Decision plan)|
*Phoenix Fridays are opportunities for accepted seniors to spend a day on campus and learn more about life at Elon.
**Invitations for Open House are mailed four to six weeks in advance. For more information, please call the Admissions office at 800.334.8448.
Visit our website, elon.edu/admissions, to find out more about application deadlines and notification dates.