“Red Sand” is a prequel to the Mass Effect video series and is set 35 years before the time of Commander Shepard. The storyline fills in gaps where the Mass Effects story lore leaves room for creativity. The film seeks to develop the discovery of the Prothean Ruins and the Charon Relay orbiting Pluto.
The concept for “Red Sand” came from UAT professor Paul DeNigris and UAT student Caleb Evans. Professor DeNigris let his students decide which video game they wanted to use as the basis for a fan film; they debated between Mass Effect and Bioshock. Student eventually decided on Mass Effect because creating the Mars scenery would come more naturally than an underwater world in the middle of Phoenix. Thus, “Red Sand” was born and became a 3-semester project for the Digital Video (DV) Production Studio classes with Evans as the writer and director.
“Red Sand” has gotten a lot of praise for the special effects used during the film; Professor DeNigris accredits that to the work of his students in the DV program at UAT. “The Digital Video program at UAT is primarily a visual effects major; we are all about VFX-driven filmmaking. We are doing everything from scratch, which is why it takes so long to complete a project like this,” Professor DeNigris said.
UAT alumni from the DV program have gone on to do amazing things and worked on films such as “Avatar” and “The Avengers,” and TV shows such as “Game of Thrones.”
Some of the hype surrounding the film is in part due to the fact that Mark Meer, voice actor for Shepard in Mass Effect, played Col. Jon Grissom in the film. “I contacted Mark’s agent and they asked to see the script. Once Mark read it, he signed on immediately. He was so gung-ho and has really gone above and beyond for us in terms of lending the film weight and credibility,”
Learn how to become a Digital Video Student at UAT: www.uat.edu/
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