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Baylor grads win awards at Sundance

Jan. 30, 2004

By Mimi Wiggins, reporter

Although their movie isn't set to hit the box office for another three months, Baylor graduates Casey Gooden, David Sullivan, Jack Pyland and Reggie Evans have already seen it succeed.

The four men took part in the production of Primer, a movie that cost $7,000 to produce.

The independent film was awarded the Dramatic Grand Prize and the $20,000 Alfred P. Sloan Prize for science in film on Monday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Primer tells the story of two inventors who create a time travel device, which completes their lives, and what happens when the machine backfires on them. The movie also highlights the struggle in relationships between the main characters.

Gooden and Sullivan grew up in Longview and attended Baylor with Evans and Pyland.

'I didn't know this, but Shane said at one of the Q and A's he had auditioned over 100 people for the part and he chose me for some crazy reason,' Sullivan, who served as production assistant and a lead actor in the film, said.

'He called me back a couple of times and asked me if I knew of anyone else who would like to help out; that's when I called Casey,' Sullivan said.

Gooden sent some of his short films to Shane Carruth, writer and director of Primer, and Carruth asked him to help film and produce Primer.

Sullivan and Gooden then brought in Evans to oversee location and sound.

'The whole Sundance experience was overwhelming,' Gooden said. 'Photo shoots, press interviews, people coming up and telling you that your film was the best they had ever watched - wow. The first screening was nerve-wracking. The theater held, I don't know, 500 maybe? The lights went out and then, there we were - David and me up on the big screen.'