Alum Dylan Bowman wows the crowd with his original film ‘Vintage‘
By Nikolai Hogan
CPC Film Series Correspondent
The CPC Film Series has become a tradition hosted in the Capital BlueCross Theatre every term, and while the films shown have always been influential flicks with well-known directors, this term shook things up Friday night with two films made by Central Penn College corporate communications alum Dylan Bowman.
Bowman is popular in the Central Penn community, as he is the former president of The Knightly News and a first-place photography award winner in the 2023 Pennsylvania News Media Association’s Keystone Student Media Awards.
Bowman has always been fascinated with expressing himself through the arts, and film is his favorite way of showcasing his passions.
During his presentation prior to showing the films, Bowman shared the story of how he became interested in film. As a young child, Bowman expressed himself by drawing constantly and creating worlds on the page by creating comics and expanding his fictional stories. This changed when, at 8 years old, he was given a camera with which he could document every little moment in his life, taking his camera everywhere and making films in his free time.
Eventually, as a Boy Scout, Bowman made his biggest project up to that point, creating a short film he called “The Scout War,” starring several of his fellow Boy Scouts. Upon screening it for them, they took immense interest in the project, to the point at which demand warranted two sequels to the short film, and it was with this that Fellowship Studios, Bowman’s independent film studio, was born.
See the “Scout War” trilogy on the Boy Scout Troop 1165 YouTube channel.
The Films and their stories
This time, The CPC Film Series featured two of Bowman’s short films as the main event — “At War with Myself,” a 2022 film directed by Dominic Mangle and featuring Bowman as director of photography, and “Vintage,” a 2023 film that Bowman produced, wrote and directed. Both films were incredibly well-written and directed, with fascinating twists and turns, especially the latter.
“At War with Myself” follows Michael Krenzler (Mangle in a starring role), a man who has struggled with dissociative identity disorder for most of his life and soon discovers it will not be long before his other personalities break free from his mind. The film acts as a “soft horror movie” (as Bowman described it) while still having a concise and easy-to-follow story.
“Vintage” is more of a mystery drama and takes place in a retro 1950s aesthetic, with all the fixings of a classic flick, such as a film vignette, a black-and-white color palette, vintage music and a 4:3 aspect ratio. The film relishes its old style, and it gives it an insurmountable amount of charm that is often lost in modern movies. The movie follows Eugene Lethe, an ordinary, albeit strange, man in a simple time. But not all is as it appears.
Watch “At War with Myself” and “Vintage” on the Fellowship Studios YouTube channel.
Before the show, I got to sit down with Bowman and ask him questions about the making of these films and more general ones regarding his career and future plans. Bowman recently landed a job for ABC27 News, in Harrisburg, as a production assistant, marking an exciting advancement in his career. While Bowman said broadcast media is “not a lifetime plan or long-haul job,” he still loves seeing the other side of the veil when it comes to news media. As he referenced, it helps him gain experience in other communication-based industries.
When asked how other directors and films have had an impact on his work, several famous directors came to Bowman’s mind. He remarked that Christopher Nolan, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are huge inspirations for his directing and writing style for his films. At the CPC Film Series, Bowman remarked that Nolan was the most significant inspiration for “Vintage.”
When discussing the main inspiration for “Vintage,” Bowman said “it was a more personal project.” Bowman likes to call himself an “old soul” and states that he loves history and is a massive fan of old noir films from the golden age of Hollywood. He said that being able to project his passions and interests, and have them culminate into something he could call his own was a primary factor in his motivation to complete the film.
In the winter 2023 term, Bowman hosted a CPC Film Series event, the 2019 film “1917.” When asked if he had any inspirations from that film when creating the two of his own he showed, he had one thing in mind: the cinematography. The reason for this was that he thought cinematography could make or break a movie’s style and message. He said “1917″ and its relatively simple premise made the film as great as it is, which is why he wants his movies to have complex themes but be easy to understand.
Reception, and plans for the future
The CPC Film Series brought in a larger crowd than some past events, bringing over 40 students, faculty, staff and community members to the theater. Furthermore, the stars of the two films signed official posters for both films after the showings. Audience members eagerly lined up to meet the people who made these fantastic independent films a reality. The night was filled with discussion after the films were shown and had the whole audience engaged and fascinated with the making of these films.
When asked if fans can expect more Fellowship Studios projects and, if so, when, Bowman told me that “when is up in the air.” But on the topic of “if,” Bowman told me that several scripts and projects are in development. With everyone in Fellowship Studios getting new careers and moving on, “Vintage” may be the last Fellowship Studios film for quite some time, but Bowman said if that is the case, he “couldn’t imagine a more perfect film to end on.”
If you want to watch Fellowship Studios’ original content, it can be found on YouTube and on the studio’s website, at www.fellowship-studios.com. We recommend that people watch both films on their official channels, to support the directors and actors, and see why Fellowship Studios is regarded as an impressive and high-quality filmmaking organization with a bright future.
As for future CPC Film Series events, more information will be announced in the next several weeks about the fall edition. Stay tuned to The Knightly News for an announcement.
Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.