Creativity and innovation flourished for two brothers studying at Biola University’s School of Cinema and Media Arts despite COVID-19 restrictions that dissuaded inventiveness and imagination.
After inspiration hit from watching “Back to the Future Part II,” Luke and Ethan Montgomery decided to make a film that had similar visual effects. Thus, “Amelia (The Twin)” was born.
Teaming up with their brother and recent graduate Schuyler (B.S. ’22), they created a computer-controlled camera dolly to make their camera movements smooth and coordinated. This enabled them to overlay two shots of their actress, Emery Gordon, creating the illusion of twins.
“I think the challenge of doing it in this extra complicated way pushed us to make the film better and it forced us to be creative,” Luke said.
The brothers started assembling the camera rig before the script was finished.
“We were putting so much work into [the rig], we knew the script had to be something we really cared about to be worth all the work we were putting into it,” Luke said. “I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but it was right for us.”
In between their classes, the twins found time to write and create the film. A year later, the script and the dolly were completed and it was time to film.
“[Filming took] four long days that we spent months planning,” Ethan said.
“Those days work like a machine where we're going through all this,” Luke added.
Three and a half months later, they had finished editing in visual effects, color, the score and finishing touches. “Amelia (The Twin)” was finally finished, but their work on it did not stop there as they had to start the process of submitting the short film to film festivals.
“With ‘Amelia’ it was really fun because we kind of were surprised to get into some bigger festivals like Palm Springs International Shortfest,” Luke said. “We got to premiere the film at Dances With Films in Hollywood, which was a really great experience where there were lots of people that know us that came for the premiere but also lots of people there who have no connection to the film. They just saw it and many of them liked it.”
“Amelia (The Twin)” has since won “Best of Festival” and “Best Drama” at the Redeem TV Film Festival and is one of three nominations for a student Emmy Award in the Drama series category.
“We've learned a lot about that process and really, just been encouraged by professors to get it out there,” Luke said.
The brothers credit their film professors as one of the biggest things they have gotten out of their education at Biola.
“[The Cinema and Media Arts professors are] really good mentors that are both very, very knowledgeable about film stuff and also great Christian people that we can look up to in every respect which is really cool,” Luke said.
Coming from a Biola family, the brothers had an idea that they wanted to go to Biola.
“I think it's safe to say our concept of college was Biola,” Ethan said.
After they started getting more involved with film, they started looking at universities with film programs. Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts stood out to them, and as graduating seniors looking back they are very glad they chose Biola’s program.
“I'm really glad we chose a Biola education,” Ethan said. “There's no place where you can get this robust of a Biblical education and a really good film education that actually works on plugging you into Hollywood, which is not that far away.”
The twins were interviewed on KTLA, which can be viewed here.
For more information and to apply to Biola’s School of Cinema and Media Arts for the fall semester, please visit the website.
Written by Charlotte McKinley, public relations intern. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.