Grad student creates film for thesis
Derrick Dean, a Weber State University graduate student, is doing a thesis project unlike any other in his department. He wrote, directed and produced a short film called “Beecher Baby Bouncer.”
Dean is the only student in the Master of Professional Communication program who is creating a film for his thesis project. Students have the option to either write a paper about 30 pages long or do a project. Dean’s project was to make, market and distribute a film.
“It’s something I could get out there to a lot of people,” Dean said. “It’s a great way to share your message in various mediums, and I would be able to incorporate everything I learned in a fun way.”
Dean said the film is about a 30-year-old man who babysits for people and likes to cause chaos. One of the things he does while babysitting is hold babies and kittens over balconies and wait for the police to show up. The movie is about 20 minutes long.
“The moral is basically getting people to learn that they should be more careful with who they trust their children with,” Dean said. “You get a moral, a message, with a couple of good laughs as well.”
Dean said he first got the idea for the film when he saw a picture of his friend playing in the park with his child. Dean said it was around the time when Michael Jackson held his child over his balcony, so Dean Photoshopped the picture to make it look like his friend was holding his child over a balcony. He posted the photo on a humor website and, when it received positive feedback, he decided he wanted to make a movie based on that concept.
The film features actor Gilbert Gottfried and YouTube celebrity Randall.
“I got in touch with their agent and figured it would be a great way to market the video,” Dean said.
The other actors in the film are local actors. Dean said he know a lot of actors because he performs in plays. He said the project cost about $700 or $800 because of the equipment he had to rent, but most of his actors worked for free.
One of the people he worked with was Kevin Mathie, a WSU graduate, who did the music for the film.
Mathie said he met Dean a few years ago while they were both working on a play.
“I don’t think he realized I had the gear,” Mathie said. “I’ve known him for a while.”
Mathie did both the background music for the film and worked on an original song for the film. Dean wrote the lyrics for the song and Mathie wrote the music, and they hired a singer to do the vocals.
Randall, best known for his honey badger video on YouTube, was also part of the film. He played an angry caller who complains about the main character.
Dean plans on graduating at the end of spring semester, and said he wants to pursue a career in film once he is out of school.
While working on the film, Dean met with his professors on a regular basis to discuss the project. He said his professors think it is a great idea and have given him a lot of support.
“Beecher Baby Bouncer” will be screened Feb. 11 and 20 in the WSU Wildcat Theater at 7:30 pm. There will be door prizes and a raffle. It costs $3 per person for admission. After the viewings, the movie will be available online to rent or buy on places like Amazon or Dean’s website, Smuffking.com.