When she returns from conducting an internship in Guatemala, Livvy Runyon ’16 will start work on her senior film, a story grounded in the universal truth that everyone eventually passes on, leaving loved ones behind.
“It wasn’t necessarily my intention to write a melancholic film, but when I sat down and thought about the story I felt I truly needed to tell, it had a lot to do with our impermanence in this world,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed contemplating the passage of time—how one generation takes the place of another in a continuous cycle of individual lives, thoughts, emotions and relationships.”
“Home” will tell the story of a solitary farmer who, after the death of his dog, clings to routine to try to fill the days before his own passing—discovering that life can be more painful than death.
It’s partly based on Runyon’s own experience after losing a close friend in 2013.
“I think that loss solidified my personal need to tell a story about being left behind in this world when those you love are gone,” she said.
Runyon and the crew will be shooting on location on her family’s 36-acre farm in Rolla later this summer. Runyon’s father, Stanley, and brother, Logan, are writing and performing the soundtrack.
“Every step of the way, my family has been my support system for this project,” Runyon said.
She’s also getting plenty of help from the Stephens community. Haley Padilla ’15 is serving as producer, Jordan Laguna ’14 is assistant director, and other students and alumnae are also on the crew.
“I’m really excited to work on this project,” Padilla said. “I know Livvy is a wonderful filmmaker with a great vision, and I wanted to help her make that happen. I love working on film sets, and I know this will be a fun one to be on, despite the somber subject of the film. It’s a story that many people can relate to. I’m excited to see how the film does after it’s finished and am thrilled for all for the support we already have.”
Runyon is currently raising money for the project, hoping to raise $2,500 to pay for lodging, transportation, equipment and compensation. Contributions can be made through her Indiegogo campaign.
Runyon plans to screen “Home” at the Senior Film Showcase next year before submitting it to SXSW, the Chicago International Film Festival, Kansas City FilmFest and other film festivals. She believes the film will resonate with audiences.
“Ultimately I hope that my film can take people to a real place in their heart,” she said, “where they understand just how beautiful and important it is to measure life’s riches not in money but in the relationships you have with other people.”
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