Local Murrieta resident Michael Brandon Wright, 25, won the Imax Big Picture in Focus Award for his short film, “Amercon.”
The Imax Big Picture in Focus Award recognizes young filmmakers for their outstanding work in film. Imax Corp. is committed to cultivating filmmakers by educating, developing and inspiring youth to pursue careers in filmmaking and the entertainment industry. Winners not only received recognition for their inspiring work, but they also received an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood to tour the Imax offices in Los Angeles and more.
Imax was the title sponsor of the Atlanta Sci-Fi Film Festival, and the distribution of the Imax Big Picture in Focus Award is part of the company’s ongoing support of young filmmakers.
“Amercon” is Wright’s sci-fi short detailing a man sent to an alien planet by the company for which he works, but when he arrives, he feels disoriented and cannot remember how he got there. One by one, people are taken from his ship, and the protagonist slowly discovers the awful truth of what is happening on the planet.
Wright had experience with film in college, and “Amercon” was his thesis film. Prior to his time at Columbia College Hollywood, he pursued filmmaking as a hobby. His inspiration derives from the science fiction genre and other notable directors such as James Cameron and Ridley Scott, he said.
“I made the film as a tribute to the genre,” Wright said. “Anyone that can appreciate sci-fi will like the subtle references I make. The film title itself is an anagram of Cameron.”
Beyond his personal inspiration, Wright said he has also taken inspiration from the local geography for his desert scenes.
The movie “will take them to another world where they will experience what it would be like to be lost on a foreign planet with the realization that a choice you made has caused a chain reaction of negative outcomes,” he said. “Hopefully they will have been entertained or intrigued for a moment about the world they just experienced and the characters that just lived before their eyes.”
In the future he plans to continue making movies and developing his writing and shooting skills. As long as he is still driven to do this hobby, he will continue to make films, he said.
Wright said being recognized for his work was something that could not be expressed in words. His movie highlights qualities of world building, which he hopes appeals to every sci-fi lover.