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Short Film Writers on Campus

On set of the short film, The OtherSide.

By: Chasen Selsor

Hollywood is a place for film writers and actors but who knew there were writers on the Waldorf University campus.

The Communications Department at Waldorf has up to three different writers who are really making a name for themselves. There are also other students that are getting noticed for their acting in these short films.

Anthony Romualdo is a recent graduate of Waldorf University and has been involved with six different short films. He directed two films, directed photography for three and has done the audio for one more. Romualdo, as a kid always enjoyed watching movies, but what really fascinated him was the special effects which grew his interest in finding out how they were done. His favorite short film he has created so far was an action film called the “Super Nerd Fight” which he wrote, directed and edited himself. It is a short action film with comedy which are his two favorite genres. “The hardest part about film making is getting all your material narrowed down to essentials,” Romualdo said, “and even when you’re done, it never feels that way.”

“Short films are always good portfolio pieces, it shows you know what you are doing,” Romualdo said. There are film festivals where short film writers like Romualdo can send in their short films and let his talent shine for everyone to see. He had recently sent in his short film to the My Rode Reel Festival which is a popular festival in the short film industry. Festivals vary between one another and some require specific lengths, others cost money and others require 100 percent original content. With all the prize money of My Rode Reel added together it reaches an amount of $300,000. Romualdo is also currently working on two short film projects, one which is a horror film called “Butterfly”, and a comedy that takes the viewers inside the mind of a man. “My goal is to one day direct a feature film,” Romualdo said.

Another short film writer is Waldorf student Andrew May who started making short films when he was in elementary school. He first experimented with stop motion and then he moved on into making music video productions and short films. May enjoys the process of creating his own world and how the characters interact with each other and the audience. He was also involved with Romualdo’s short film, “Super Nerd Fight”.

Writing short films is not also the easiest thing to do. “It is really hard to find talent and resources in a small town,” May said, “but at the same time, people are more willing to help you out because of reputation in this small community.” May has been involved with a few dozen short films. May has also been brave enough to send some of his short films to festivals. Mostly, he sends the films to YouTube for the whole world to enjoy. During May’s senior year of high school, he was part of the North Iowa Film Festival where he showed one of his short films called “The 16 Bit Sword”. He is currently working on another film called Juvenile Nostalgia. After May graduates from Waldorf, he plans to pursue film production as an animator, videography, sfx artist, or a graphic artist.

One more impressive short film writer is communication’s Media Specialist, Carlos Ruiz. His film maker name is Charlie Gandez and he first began with photography and later became intrigued with film-making once he had watched the movie “The Godfather” while sitting in a high school class.

Creativity is an important virtue when creating short films and these short film writers have just that. “It takes a lot of creativity to craft what’s inside your head onto the script,” Ruiz said, “and have it make sense but still have that artistic manner to it.”

His favorite short film, as of today, is a recent film he created called “The Otherside”. “I really took my time to write this one and get it just right,” Ruiz said, “and in the end, I feel really good about it.” So far, Ruiz has been involved with ten short films and one feature film in his career.

Ruiz has sent his latest film, “The Otherside”, to five different festivals and is currently waiting to hear back about whether it was accepted or not. The short film festivals were The Mespies (Minnesota), Sioux City International Film Festival (Iowa), Omaha Film Festival (Nebraska), Boulder International Film (Colorado) and the Julien International (Iowa). Even though he has sent his film to five already, he plans to send it to other films as well. Ruiz is also currently working on two more short films called “The Split” where it will show two different shots at the same time but as one take. The other one is called “Para Lysis”.

“I’m also about to begin research for two feature length films that I will begin writing next year sometime,” Ruiz said. His ultimate goal as a short film writer is to work on larger budget Hollywood films with big name actors, producers, fellow directors and become a big name his self. “The dream is to get a film that I directed/ wrote nominated for an Oscar and eventually win,” Ruiz said, “and the biggest thing for me is to continue doing what I love and make films that will take me that next phase in my film-making.

The amount of talent on Waldorf University’s campus is astounding. Romualdo, May and Ruiz are definitely making themselves known not only on campus but around the world for some of them.  If interested in seeing some of their short film work then search their names in YouTube and their videos will continue to amaze.