A BYU-Idaho student produced a film to remind individuals of the importance of family. The film will premier on Friday at the Romance Theatre; doors open at 6 p.m., and the film begins at 6:30 p.m.

David Ellis, a graduating senior studying communication with an emphasis in video production, has worked on his recent film, “Wanderer,” for over a year, but it has hardly felt like work to him.

David Ellis, on the job

David Ellis, on the job. Photo credit: David Ellis

“I just love working with people…I love seeing people take something on a piece of paper and turn it into a reality,” Ellis said.

Ellis is not a newcomer in the film industry. He has been in the industry since he was 14, creating his first feature film at 15. His work can be found on his YouTube channel.

Many people notice current themes in leisure movie watching including violence, profanity, vulgarity and romance. Ellis has a different goal in his film-making.

“I’ve always had this fear of not being able to be successful as a filmmaker because I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ first,” Ellis said.

David Ellis sporting a trademark smile doing what he loves.

David Ellis sporting a trademark smile doing what he loves. Photo credit: David Ellis

“I love movies that inspire people and inspire change, whether that be as a warning voice or whether it be genuinely inspirational and (make you think) ‘I want to grow,’” Ellis said.

Within the whole production of the film, Ellis has become a jack-of-all-trades serving collectively as producer, director, camera operator, editor and media relations specialist.

Ellis first thought of the idea for the movie in 2018 while brainstorming with his partner, Evan Rosencrantz, the writer of “Wanderer”. They wanted to address one’s battle with their subconscious and conscious self, while also emphasizing the importance of family.

Wanderer movie flyer

Wanderer movie flyer Photo credit: David Ellis

Ellis gives us his brief synopsis of the movie.

“Our main character, Walter Hughes, is an overworked and stressed accountant who never has time for his wife or his kid. Him and his wife take a vacation to try and separate him from his work life,” Ellis said. “While on this vacation, Walter wanders off into the forest, and can’t find his way back and begins his journey trying to survive in the wilderness, while search and rescue tries to find him out in the wild.”

View the film’s trailer below.

Ellis has been working with his team for several years. Many of them have other jobs in addition to their participation in this passion project.

“All of us starting this project knew we probably weren’t gonna get paid (very much). We’re just doing this … because we love making movies and bringing things to life (through film),” Ellis said.

This film is intended for all audiences. Ellis would give the film a light PG rating because there are a few jump scares from Walter experiencing nightmares in the film.

“We wanted to make this film applicable to parents and to those in the job force … the main themes of prioritizing your family and not letting your job consume you … if your family is not a priority, then everything else in your life suffers,” Ellis said.

The premier event will take place at the Romance Theater on Friday evening, doors opening at 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 if you order online, or $6 at the door. Attendees can expect to find a red carpet and an event photographer ready to greet them.

“Both nights we’ve got some behind-the-scenes and bloopers that will play after the film,” Ellis said.

Scenes from Wanderer

Scenes from Wanderer Photo credit: David Ellis

Ellis will present a speech at the premiere and will be accompanied by his wife who has supported him throughout the production of this film.

“This is a big step for her, and I’m really proud of her work and proud of the fact that she chooses to keep learning and working with me,” Ellis said.

Other showings for the film will be on May 1 and 2 in the Kaysville Theater in Utah.

“The invitation to the audience is: ‘How is this movie going to help you change?’” Ellis said. “It’s worth the time, so please come watch our movie.”