Luminary is a short fantasy/action film made by a team of Temple Film and Media Arts Students. For our senior project, we want to tell a special and magical visual experience, and take all of the viewers into Rose's world. This fully realized fantasy experience will be unlike anything you've seen!
Inclusion StatementWe wanted to make this project to prove that fantasy films are for everyone, and can be made by anybody brave enough to go out and tell their story. Women in fantasy is important to us, and our all female cast shows that women and women of color can lead fantasy films!
About The Project
About the Film
Luminary follows a young woman named Rose, who through the guidance of her
guardian, Lillian, and the matriarch of her village, Promethea, tries to secure the future
of her village against the ever-creeping Darkness that encompasses them.
In their journey into the forests, Rose will discover what dangers lie beyond the security of
the Cornerstone-- a magical artifact charged by the Light, while uncovering long-hidden
secrets from her, and the rest of her village.
I have spent most of my life living in worlds of fantasy created by wonderful artists, and trying to create my own. The hours that I have taken to build worlds that no one but I know about, are some of the most fulfilling hours I have dedicated. My thesis, Luminary, is no exception. Being able to tell or be told a story that brings the imagination to lengths unknown, while being able to tell a story worth hearing, is all that I care about. I want to bring people to where I have dreamed of, hoping to inspire those that hear my story to create their own worlds, or live in mine for just a little while.
Luminary, on the surface, is all about the world it takes place in: a dark foreboding forest with villagers who have found a loophole to live in it. The story of Rose delves into what I want this story to truly be about: A tale of a young girl who is given a quest far out of her realm of expertise or knowledge, but must deal with the situation, regardless, and overcomes. I have grown to admire people of my age and younger who are thrown into situations that seem impossible to me, and yet somehow are able to struggle through them. The ability to adapt and survive is so basically human, and yet so daunting while you are in them. Luminary showcases Rose’s ability to adapt and overcome using her cunning and intuition, while showing the importance of her empathy and vulnerability regardless of the hardships she faces.
Often times these fantastical stories are thought to be best told in the format of animation, but I want to take on the challenge of bringing this film to life in digital film format. While I love animation, I believe the result of capturing such a world in our reality will pay off, ten fold. I often see film at this level being limited to subjects specifically in the real world. I don’t believe that I, nor anyone else interested in fantasy stylings, should feel limited by the medium.
Something inspired from the animation that I wish to capture is the vivaciousness and beauty of the settings and aesthetics presented.
Why is this film important?
I want to make art that is accessible. Being able to reach both kids and adults with my work is very important to me, because I believe even from the youngest ages, the human experience still exists. At our very core, we are all children still learning, still trying to understand whatever is brought to us, and still desiring to explore. Setting very human emotions within fantasy pieces brings forth thought provoking scenarios that can be just as effective for adults as for kids, and can be just as transformative. It was transformative for me, bringing forth aesthetically appealing art with controversial and important subject matters, allowing me to think freely on a piece regardless of my full lack of understanding of some situations. Even still, some of my favorite stories come from children’s shows, because a story doesn’t have to have brutality to make it effective.
Influences, Style, and Aesthetic
Luminary is a short fantasy piece taking place in a magical-post-apocalyptic style world, caught in a battle between a magic known as The Light and The Darkness. The aesthetic is similar to fantasy, while also touching into post-apocalyptic. The Darkness is a maddening corruption that swept over the Earth; with long exposure, victims suffer from loss of rational thought, increase in animalistic tendencies, and extreme physical changes.
The aesthetics for these fantastical elements have been inspired by many films, including Guillermo Del Toro’s works (Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, Hellboy), Lord of the Rings, animated pieces like Over the Garden Wall, as well as video games like the Dark Souls series and Limbo.
Support Fantasy Filmmaking!
Thank you so much for looking at our project! If you can find time to donate or share our campaign, it would allow us to share this story with more people, and spread the message of Luminary. Make sure to look out for updates as we bring this fantasy to life!
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About This Team
Director - Vito Scutti
Long time fantasy fan and fourth year BFA student at Temple University, Vito Scutti is the Director and Writer of Luminary. After many smaller projects, this is the culmination of his past work into the style of film that he truly desires to bring to life. With an interest in fantasy fiction, as well as interactive narratives, Vito wishes to create fantastical projects with a focus on diverse representation that can be enjoyed and approached by all ages.
Producer - Gregory Kaulfers
Gregory Kaulfers is the producer and production manager of Luminary. Studying film at Temple, Greg found a specific interest in fictional narratives dealing with dark themes, Greg’s work has varied greatly, between contemporary dramatic stories such as the film Ronnie to fantastical stories such as Luminary. He is a long time fantasy and horror fan and has always wanted to work on bringing genre into the forefront of filmmaking, as he feels the genre is one of the best storytelling devices. Greg hopes to take this ambitious project and make a film unlike anything seen before.
Director of Photography - Ryan Kuna
Ryan Kuna is a Philadelphia based cinematographer, studying in Temple University's film program. In Ryan's junior year at Temple, he photographed the short film Abort Mission, which won the Diamond Screen Film Festival's Best Undergraduate Film Award. The project also recently screened in the Dolby Theater in Manhattan. He is excited to experiment with expressive techniques to give Luminary a look that reflects the fantastic nature of the script.
Editor - Dylan Smeltzer
Dylan Smeltzer is an editor with a background in documentary and narrative short films. Growing up with a passion for music, Dylan became interested in filmmaking when he began to notice the way editing is used in film. The rhythmic qualities of it intrigued him and inspired him to begin to develop his own editing skills and techniques. He enjoys working on a variety of styles of projects such as documentary films, narrative shorts, advertisement videos, and music mixing. Horror and fantasy films inspire his approach to filmmaking because of the world building and ability to make audiences care about characters in a fantastical world.
Artistic Director - Raquel Cannon
RAQUEL CANNON: Raquel is a Philadelphia based Technical Director and Set Designer studying Theatre Design + Technology at University of the Arts. Raquel is interested in fostering new works, exploring unconventional materials, and deep collaboration. She is excited to take on the magical elements of Luminary!
Previous UArts credits includes: American Idiot, (ATD), Polyphone Festival 2018 (ATD), Trojan Women (ATD) Upcoming Seasons Work, UArts: Equinox Festival 2019 (TD), Polyphone Festival 2019 (ASD)
DONOVAN LOCKETT (Rose): Donovan proudly hails from New Orleans but has made Philly her artistic home. She works primarily as a regional theatre actor, most recently having performed in Troilus & Cressida with Revolution Shakespeare. This winter, she also completed principal photography for the film Kings. Catch her soon on PBS in a docuseries of Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Mouthful Monologue Festival!
JULIA HOPKINS (Lillian): Julia is a recent Temple Theaters graduate. She is certified with the Society of American Fight Directors and Fight Directors Canada. Julia currently teaches stage combat at MacGuffin Theater and Film Co. as well as assists Fight Master Ian Rose. She is excited to be working on Luminary!
RHANA CASSIDY (Promethea): Rhana feels truly blessed to be the mom of three funny, brilliant teens who light up the autism spectrum. She is married to a tall, dark, and handsome hypnotist. By day she's the Community Manager (AKA one-woman support team) for AdBlock and an award-winning technical writer. By night (and early morning, on weekends, and at other stolen moments) she's an award-winning actress and commercial model, a member of Philly sketch team Idaho, Wham!, and an award-winning novelist.