Asbury Summer Film kicks off, celebrates film’s launch to streaming services

This year's program begins as a previous year's project, 'Damaged Goods,' is released to streaming services

WILMORE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Summer Film program at Asbury University kicked off earlier in the week, coinciding with the release of a previous year’s project, ‘Damaged Goods,’ to streaming services.

The three-week program, which professors and students say is a long-standing tradition at the school, allows undergraduate and graduate students to work as both cast and crew on a full-feature film, collaborating with professors and industry professionals. In other words: it’s like a little slice of Hollywood in the Bluegrass.

“It’s a lot of training along the way,” said Professor Sean Gaffney, “but once they’re done, they’re professionals. They’re ready to go.”

This year is a special one: the program is celebrating the release of its film, “Damaged Goods,” to streaming services like Amazon Prime.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool to be able to work on a full length feature film that might be on some streaming services,” said Asbury senior Liam Chesser.

According to Prof. Gaffney, the film was shot in 2018 and about 25 students worked on the film.

“Often, when a school makes a movie, you never know what’s going to happen to it. Are people going to get a chance to see it or not…it’s fun to know it’s not just a school project. But it also puts the pressure on, we know it’s not just a school project, we’re competing with the other movies out there,” said Prof. Gaffney.

“Damaged Goods,” according to Prof. Gaffney, addresses topics like sexual abuse, alcoholism, relationships, and family, and was co-directed by an Asbury graduate.

This year, the program’s project is an original screenplay, written by Prof. Gaffney, called “Not Your Romeo,” the story of a romance column writer who undergoes a change in perspective after a competing columnist challenges her ideas of love.

“To come together and actually put the theories that we’ve put into practical, hands on has been invaluable. Going from seeing each other on a screen every week has just been phenomenal,” said graduate student Shannen Callow.

According to students on-set, the program brings together the film department in unique ways.

“I have absolutely loved every single second of it and I would do it again. I have learned so much from this experience and I’ve gained so many new insights. I have wanted to try different aspects of the film industry and they’ve given me the opportunity,” said Asbury sophomore Maliya Crump.

You can check “Damaged Goods” out for yourself: it’s streaming on Amazon Video for purchase and Amazon Prime Video starting July 1st.

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