Dorsey stumbled upon the world of film. He never envisioned this to be his calling.
“Sophomore year I messed up and didn’t have a second elective,” said Dorsey. “I had a free period as a sophomore, which isn’t allowed, so I had to pick something, and the only the opening was film production. It sounds cheesy, but there was this opening speech [film production teacher Hezekiah Lewis] did, and it got me excited about filmmaking. We did our first film project and I just fell in love with it.”
Three years later, Dorsey has produced a plethora of films that have made him known throughout the school as a talented filmmaker. His productions have become a mainstay in the annual MFS Filmfest, and his grade’s senior airband video (a parody of The Shining) credited “visionary director Ryan Dorsey.”
Dorsey’s last film as an MFS student, God Awful, premiered publicly today at 11:00 in the MFS auditorium.
The film, Dorsey’s last production as an MFS student, stars Dorsey’s longtime friend and collaborator senior Brandon Beach, who plays a guardian angel named Gabriel. Gabriel protects a man named Adam Crowley, played by junior Jake Rosvold, whole life is filled with positive and offsetting negative occurrences. In his frustration with the negatives in his life, Crowley kills Gabriel and acquires the angel’s power to bring about anything he so chooses by writing it. However, Crowley’s greed comes back to haunt him, as the pizza he determines will arrive at his door kills him when he chokes on it.
In addition to Beach and Rosvold, the film also starred junior Natalia Queenan, who played Crowley’s coworker, and theater director Mark Gornto, who played Gabriel’s employer.
“This is actually my first comedy,” said Dorsey. “I’m really not that funny. It was weird to try to write things that other people would find funny.” The film is a dark comedy.
Sierra Mills, a junior, was Dorsey’s co-writer on the film. She has a history of film writing, as she has written two other films but this was her first time working with Ryan Dorsey.
“There were periods of time in screenwriting classes where we would sit down and try to think about it but we wouldn’t really come up with anything. Then he would quietly say, ‘I have an idea.’ and he came up with this small premise and I fell in love with it. So I kept adding bits and pieces, seeing what he liked and didn’t like, and we made notecards with plot points and put them on the board.” she said. Mills also added that working with Dorsey has inspired her to continue writing films. “I think it’s a great film. It’s my favorite that Ryan has done and I’m glad to have been a big part of it.”
“Thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past three or four years,” said Dorsey to the screening audience. “The people that were in [this film] weren’t even in [filmmaking] class, they just decided to help me out of their kindness, and I really thank them for that.”
Dorsey heads to the Big Apple this fall to continue studying film at NYU.