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BYU-Idaho Student Hopes to Build On the Success of His First Movie

A BYU-Idaho student is seeing some local success with a film project he and his friends made in high school. Now, he hopes to take the idea to the next step. 

Connor McFarlane and his friends filmed a movie he called “SWERV.” It’s a superhero movie where the main character is sent to another dimension by his arch nemesis and must become a superhero again. He and his friends made the film for fun, but as it grew in popularity among those at McFarlane’s high school in Richland, Washington, he wanted to show it to a bigger audience. 

McFarlane reached out to his film teacher, who contacted the local movie theater managers. They agreed to do a test run of the show, making space for one showtime. “SWERV” was such a big local success, the theater ended up doing eight showtimes, some in its large theaters. McFarlane says they sold around 350 tickets in total and sold a few hundred DVDs afterward. 

“The entire Richland community basically are all ‘SWERV’ fans, and if we would've known the impact that it would make before we started filming, we would've spent a lot more money and effort on the film,” said McFarlane. 

On a roll, McFarlane pitched “SWERV” to Angel Studios, a new film production startup. Unfortunately, they did not want to take the risk on “SWERV” and declined a deal. McFarlane says he’s still satisfied with the performance of something he never thought would see the big screen. 

“The team [and I] hope to make the professional ‘SWERV’ TV show a reality someday, which is one of the reasons why I'm perusing a film career,” he said. 

The process of producing a film involves a lot of trial and error. Experience goes a long way in this industry, and McFarlane is excited to create more content for his fans as he begins his education at BYU-Idaho. 

Movie link: SWERV The Movie (Theatrical Version) | Independent Superhero Film 2021 (AAHSFF Official Selection)