"Phantom Nights," a sci-fi pilot featured on YouTube, was directed by a Lubbock native, filmed at a Lubbock location, and featured local Lubbock talent as the cast – including LCU seniors Brandon Greer and Joshua Dansby.
"Phantom Nights" is produced and distributed by New Form Digital as part of an incubator series, a wave of short pilots on YouTube that have series potential. Director and writer, Damon O’Steen, held auditions in Lubbock in February to cast "Phantom Nights."
Theatre major Brandon Greer heard about the audition opportunity for "Phantom Nights" from Hilary Barnes, his boss when he worked at Chapdesk.
At the auditions, Greer waited in a long line for over two hours as other people auditioned. His turn finally came, he read the lines provided in front of the camera, and then he left. Though he felt it was a cool experience, he hadn’t expected to get a role.
A few days later, he got a call from "Phantom Nights" director, Damon O’Steen, to offer him the supporting role of J.R., the boisterous best friend to the main character. After a speechless moment, Greer accepted.
Communications and digital media arts major Joshua Dansby joined Greer and the cast of "Phantom Nights" as an extra.
Since Greer was also portraying the Narrator in LCU’s spring play, Through My Eyes, he had to coordinate his shooting schedule with LCU rehearsals, but directors Dr. Laurie Doyle and Dr. Don Williams worked with Greer so he could perform in both.
“LCU has really helped me grow as an actor, in a way that’s given me confidence in building my craft,” Greer explains. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to perfect my craft by individually working with professors to improve. LCU’s Christian foundation has also helped me build integrity that I can maintain in theatrical jobs and the decisions I make in life. I wouldn’t have that if I hadn’t gone here.”
"Phantom Nights" shot over the course of five days, and Greer participated in two of them. Most of the film was set at Stars and Stripes Drive-In, but other locations around Lubbock also featured prominently in the pilot.
“When we went out to the first location to shoot, it was kind of nerve-wracking. I’d never acted on camera before, really,” Greer admitted. “You have everybody standing behind the camera, focusing on you. You have this guy holding a mic up in your face. You have a person saying, ‘don’t look at the camera,’ every time your eye moves that direction.”
"Phantom Nights" was released on YouTube in April and accumulated over 23,000 views by early June. Greer hopes that projects like "Phantom Nights" lay the groundwork for more film opportunities in West Texas.